Federal Charm: Across the Divide

Blues for you.

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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.

Essi Berelian

Whether it’s magazines, books or online, Essi has been writing about rock ’n’ metal for around thirty years. He has been reviews editor for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, rock reviews editor for lads mag Front and worked for Kerrang!. He has also written the Rough Guide to Heavy Metal and contributed to the Rough Guide to Rock and Rough Guide Book of Playlists, and the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (13th edition). Most fun interview? Tenacious D – Jack Black and Kyle Gass – for The Pick of Destiny movie book. An avid record/CD/tape collector, he’s amassed more music than he could ever possibly listen to, which annoys his wife no end.