Ai­den Con­nell

Grio

Classic Rock - - The Hard Stuff -

There have been at­tempts in some quar­ters to pi­geon­hole Ai­den Con­nell as a blues singer (some­thing he tack­les on Ev­ery­body Else here), but there’s so much more to his de­but al­bum than that. In fact, the most tra­di­tion­ally blues song here is the stripped-back, lop­ing, soul-bar­ing Fell On Black Days. It isn’t a Soundgar­den cover, but if it had been, it wouldn’t have been out of place, be­cause Grio has a grungy, alt.rock twist that breaks down genre bound­aries.

Con­nell’s voice is won­der­ful – warm but dark, and of­ten sound­ing re­mark­ably like Mark Lane­gan, par­tic­u­larly on Re­quiem For Love and wry rocker Bleed­ing Me Dry. Paired with his time­less song­writ­ing, this record sug­gests that he’s in it for the long haul, neatly sidestep­ping cur­rent trends and mak­ing a unique space for him­self.

There’s a bite to his writ­ing too. The Je­sus And Mary Chain got in there first with I Hate Rock ’N’ Roll as a song ti­tle, but Con­nell’s drips with dis­dain for style-over-sub­stance bands who cher­ish clichéd rock-star deca­dence over in­no­va­tion.

These songs worm their way into your soul, finely crafted but ooz­ing with per­son­al­ity, and com­bin­ing to make for a very spe­cial de­but.

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