Wish You Well - Well, Weird and Warped
Owain Paciuszko 23/05/2009
Retro sounding pop-rock from Cornwall (the county I call home) from multi-instrumentalist Aidan aka Wish You Well. Opening with some 70s sounding electric guitar before taking detours via Cream meets Nirvana track One Off Special, this is, at least, a somewhat unique sounding record. The song is a fun piece of fluff, brief and catchy and sets a good standard for the rest of the album. B Movie opens how the best B-Movies do, with creaking noises, ominous church organ and a percussion of strange sounds before lurching into a rather kooky instrumental that feels like an extended cover of the theme from The Munsters!?
Am I Happy has a flavour of psych-rock classic Teenage Head by The Flamin' Groovies though Aidan's voice falters somewhat, coming up short against the chugging riff and big sound of the music. In The Garden of Maiden Bower throws in a laidback-soulful time signature up against its faux-Hendrix noodlings, alongside the ambient sound of the sea. Office Food Fight goes a bit country, though Aidan's voice is a bit off colour again, however his lyrics here are actually quite witty if predictable; it's as if Bob Dylan's lyrics had been re-written by Richard Curtis.
Ice Man opens gloriously, exploding like a lost Led Zeppelin rarity, and while the riff is memorable and the drums suitably filthy, Aidan's voice is a touch to stunted and nasal to really carry the song along; or perhaps its fogged in poor production, sometimes it's hard to tell, but it lets down what is, otherwise, a rather brilliant modern attempt at doing something in the big, fat classic rock model.
The record ends on Farewell a sort of collision between a fun-house and a slightly dissapointing Iron Maiden covers band, and though it has the ambition to be the big, finale to a record - both grand and playful - it lacks the execution.
There are certain limitations that keep this record from really bolting out of the gates, but there's enough icing being applied to old ideas to keep it generally pretty lively and listenable. Hopefully Wish You Well will get a chance to develop and work on their strengths whilst ironing out their weaknesses, Ice Man is a great track though!