Birmingham singer/songwriter Joe Karchud has been into the studio, and with the help of some of Birmingham’s best musicians, including The Musgraves violinist Lesley Turner, he put his acoustic tales through a full band production process, emerging with four track EP ‘Engagement’.
Opener and arguably best song on the EP, ‘Kids of the Bonfire’, brings to mind the likes of Amy MacDonald and Two Gallants as it gallops moodily through its folksy blues regime, oozing the sort of weather beaten refrains that wouldn’t sound out of place in the Old West.
Lead single ‘Montego’ is an altogether more subdued affair, a traditionally laid back jaunt with a quirky, almost ska-like crescendo to finish it off. ‘Since When’ starts off nice enough, but the erratic, disjointed drum beat distracts from the beef of the track, and at times entirely ruins what is at times, an excellent song. Closer ‘Bottle of La Hoo Ha’, at 11 minutes, drags just slightly, and lacks a little progression and build, but when it starts to really kick off, you can tell that Joe has worked tirelessly to make his already successful acoustic repertoire fit into a live band format.
Maybe, just maybe, some of the songs featured are better suited to an acoustic format, and at times it felt like he was just trying unnecessarily hard to transform an already successful formula into something that just doesn’t quite fit. That said, when it does work, it’s something special. ‘Engagement’ is a superb showcase of Joe’s unquestionable talents, and a great advertisement for singer/songwriters all over Birmingham and the midlands.
About Luke Deakin
Music is awesome. Well, some isn’t, but most is. I personally approve of Foo Fighters, Weezer, Sum 41, The Cure, Metallica, The Sex Pistols, Muse, NOFX and White Denim amongst many others