Federal Charm – Across The Divide

Slick and sassy blues-rock shaped through tireless touring

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Federal Charm might wear their musical roots proudly on their sleeve, but this is no mere pastiche: here is a band executing gilt-edged blues-rock with swagger and style.

Having sharpened their teeth supporting everyone from Black Star Riders to Rich Robinson and Joanne Shaw Taylor in recent times, the Stockport quartet have returned revitalised, their canines more razor-like than ever. Master Plan’s trebly fuzz stomp comes across like a modern-day Zeppelin, before Guess What builds on that momentum with an angular guitar motif and rollicking hook-laden chorus. These Four Walls veers into soul-baring ballad territory and Give Me Something’s fun banjo flit adds a real richness to proceedings.

A major step up from their debut – an album which received many plaudits in its own right – Across The Divide is as diverse as it is ballsy and heartfelt.

Phil Weller

You can usually find this Prog scribe writing about the heavier side of the genre, chatting to bands for features and news pieces or introducing you to exciting new bands that deserve your attention. Elsewhere, Phil can be found on stage with progressive metallers Prognosis or behind a camera teaching filmmaking skills to young people.