The unnamed reviewer says The Ballad of Johnny Blowtorch sounds like a long-lost classic. I wonder if (s)he is alluding to the line, "To be famous as a martyr for a long-lost cause." Very cool. You have to know the song pretty well to make an allusion like that. (S)he mentions The Who, a band that I love, but I was thinking more of The Kinks. (You may know that The Who emulated the style of The Kinks on a few occasions.)
The Little Wretches have two tunes that are outright attempts at building a song around a riff that might have been played by The Kinks. The other is IT WAS OVER LIKE THAT from JUST ANOTHER NAIL IN MY COFFIN. Now, there may be some overprotective Kinks Kultists out there who will find a way to take offense at the comparison.
Comparisons can be deadly. I've often been compared to Lou Reed, but as a Lou Reed fan I know that people who seek out Reed-ish material are likely to be disappointed in The Little Wretches. Looking for Lou? You ain't gonna find him here.
On the other hand, I wish more people saw the Ray Davies connection. What Ray is doing on his AMERICANA album and its Part II is much like I'll be doing on RED BEETS & HORSERADISH, the album we are rehearsing right now.
Anyhow, much thanks to the person who wrote this review at Skope. The Who? That's a quite a comparison. Know any who fans? Know any fans of The Kinks? Tell 'em about UNDESIRABLES & ANARCHISTS.
New Single By Little Wretches “Ballad Of Johnny Blowtorch”
The Little Wretches go for a big, bombastic classic rock flair with “Ballad Of Johnny Blowtorch – Ambridge Version”. Everything about the sound is truly massive, from the sheer infectious quality of the guitar riffs to the riotous rhythms that underpin the whole thing. With clear nods to the Who’s best works, they leave the listener absolutely stunned while they strut about in a defiant, blissful air. Lyrically there is almost a folklore quality to their storytelling, drawing parallels to the highly ornate tales told by the Decemberists in terms of the sheerly exquisite detail that flows flawlessly through.
Immediately they jump right into it – no buildup or anything they go for broke right at the forefront. Tempo is a suggestion for they shout it at the top of their lungs in staccato. Every verse gets carefully clipped for precision for the way that let the sound grow feels particularly reassuring. Volume is a must for theirs is a sound that needs to be felt. Deeply soulful, they spin out in delirious ways featuring such bright bursts of energy. Guiding the whole of the track along are those gorgeous lyrics that have a truly timeless air about them, for they tie together everything in a swirling, churning sort of groove, one that drives the point home.
“Ballad Of Johnny Blowtorch” shows off the Little Wretches uncanny ability to craft something so beautiful that it feels like a long-lost classic.