Wednesday, February 15, 2012

EP Reviews: Landlocked EP; Living a Lie / 12/18/09; Damnation

Titles:  Landlocked EP (BandCamp), Living a Lie / 12/18/09 (BandCamp); Damnation (BandCamp)
Artist:  Mike Williams (BandCamp)

I first heard of Mike Williams when someone mentioned that he played bass in John Moreland’s Dust Bowl Souls in the comments section of Nine Bullets’ review of Everything the Hard Way, stating that Williams’ EPs were the perfect compliment to Moreland’s record.  I immediately headed over to Williams’ BandCamp site, downloaded the EPs, and was instantly blown away.    

Released in August 2011 the Landlocked EP was Williams’ debut.  The three song EP opens with the heartfelt and extremely catchy “Fall From Grace” and followed by the equally honest, earnest, and hooked filled “I’ll Get By” and “Long Way Home.”  Living a Lie / 12/18/09, released September 2011, continues with this same great vein of catchy Bruce Springsteen meets The Ducky Boys rock ‘n’ roll with the song “Living a Lie” while “12/18/09” is a haunting acoustic ballad.  The final EP released in January 2012, includes one song, the title track “Damnation,” another haunting acoustic number but this one includes a stronger country feel to it.  Throughout all three releases are the reoccurring themes of life, regret, loss, and love that are sincere and intense and speak straight to the soul.  And even though these songs were released as three separate EPs, when played together they sound like a cohesive unit. 

At the moment Williams is working on a full-length album for Okie Tone Records.  Needless to say, I am eagerly awaiting its release.  For those who have never heard Mike Williams, I can’t recommend all of these releases enough, especially if you are a fan of the likes of John Moreland, Bruce Springsteen, Lucero, Drag the River, The Gaslight Anthem, and The Ducky Boys (it’s actually kind of scary how much Williams sounds like The Ducky Boys’ Mark Lind).   

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