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Federal Charm: Across the Divide

Blues for you.

Lauded for the punchy attack of their debut, these feisty Mancs continue their mission to take their genre of choice up to the next level. And for the most part, what you get is pretty much no-holds barred, fiery, inventive rock’n’roll.

Inevitably, Free and Led Zep are still major touchstones – which is no bad thing at all, the Page ’n’ Plant-esque Guess What is a top tune – but the focus is obviously on stretching out and loosening up.

The slow-burning These Four Walls offers a welcome change of gear, while the sprightly blues harp and banjo-driven hoedown Give Me Something shows that some serious thought has gone into the album’s dynamics. The future of blues rock is clearly in safe hands.