Conrad Keely: Original Machines

The Trail Of Dead frontman goes it alone.

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He may have moved to Cambodia and made a debut solo album in his 40s, but Conrad Keely doesn’t sound like a man with a midlife crisis.

If anything, some of the 25 songs on this 55-minute album sound like they could have done with a little more agonising over. That’s not to say that amid this barrage of punchy tunes there aren’t a handful of gems.

Nothing That I Meant (Interstellar) starts with jazzy piano musings and throws its arms wide with a yearning, arena-straddler of a chorus. It’s soon followed by the gorgeously piano-accompanied All That’s Left Is Land, but in-between the two we’re confronted with the claustrophobic rhythms of The Jungles. As such, this album reflects its maker – a restless spirit that now and then stumbles on something special.

Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock