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The James Warner Prophecies: Things Change

Clever, quirky, pigeonhole-dodging debut.

It’s quite an accomplishment to be thoroughly off-the-wall and yet produce an album that is this enjoyably cohesive, but this Midlands-based trio have pulled it off, and quite convincingly too.

Here we have great songs, excellent production, and just a touch of wilful eccentricity to spice things up – oh, and a fantastic singer in the form of guitarist Joe Brown. His tough but vulnerable vocals provide the band with a crucial identity, which is handy considering the tunes duck and weave all over the pop’n’rock shop.

TJWP largely specialise in harnessing a jaunty, Supergrass-type pop sensibility to a caustic, Pixies-like ferocity, and the likes of Av A Bite, Subterranean and the title track combine incisive lyrics with huge guitars and an intuitive control of emotional light and shade. Album highlight, though, must be Running Out for its guitar-wielding immensity and sprinting finish.

Smart, inventive and, above all, hummable. Where do TJWP go from here?

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.