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The Wanton Bishops: Sleep With The Lights On

Excellent bluesy garage-rock debut from Beirut duo.

We’ve seen a few ‘noisy bluesy’ duos in recent years: The Black Keys from the States, The Graveltones from Australia, Royal Blood from England, Henry’s Funeral Shoe from Wales, and now we have The Wanton Bishops from, erm, Lebanon. It’s not an obvious hotbed of rock, but these guys are no less compelling for it.

Quite the contrary, the way they merge subtle oriental touches with raw garagey chords and old-school blues is rather magic, as well as being evocative of their time spent jamming the blues in Beirut bars.

Influence from the likes of BRMC sit easily alongside primal Robert Johnson grit. It’s wonderfully heady, combined with atmospheric vocals. Elsewhere, My Kinda Lovin’ stirs Johnny Cash-esque rockabilly into the mix, while Whoopy lends a foot-stomping, gently Eastern feel.

It’s a liberated take on bluesy rock – respectful of traditional tones, but utterly relevant. One of the first really good debuts of 2015, from a genuinely exciting act./o:p