I had the good fortune to review the excellent single "Believe" off of this EP back a few months ago. It was a strong teaser and left me aching to check out the entire record. Cullen's Nick Cave-esque vibe really appeals to the tortured twenty-something lying in my rapidly aging 40-year-old meat suit. So when I opened my inbox to see it waiting there for me, I was pretty stoked to give it a listen.
Will the whole EP (recorded Live at Lazybones as the title suggests) measure up to that great first single? Or will it all be fools gold? No need to wonder long. Let's dive in!
Watch the video for "Black Coffee & Cigarettes" below:
We start with Black Dog which isn't a Led Zeppelin cover. It is, however, a delightfully Tindersticks-tinged opener. It sets a perfect vibe for what Michael P Cullen is all about. Dark lyrically, but not sacrificing melody in the process. Really excellent beginning. We move onto Nothing Special and it's another gem. Lyrically it's a bit too reliant on rhymes in the verse but it doesn't detract from the rock solid chorus. Good stuff. Black Coffee & Cigarettes is next. It's got melody for days. A good choice for the second single. The next track is the first single off the EP entitled, Believer. I raved about it a few months ago and nothing has changed. It's like a darker R.E.M. Really solid tune. The final track is a tune called I Walk Alone. This one sounds a lot like Henry's Dream-era Nick Cave. If you close your eyes tight, you would swear it's Cave on vocals. Lyrically poetic and a little more poppy, the track is a good enough finish to a pretty great record. It's not particularly original, but it's rock-solid.
This one gets a strong recommend from me. If you like Nick Cave and other bands of that ilk, this is a jackpot. Very good live performance that makes you long for Cullen and his crew to play in your town. If they do, don't miss it.
Michael P Cullen – vocals. guitar The Soul Searchers are:
Tim Powles – drums, percussion, vocals Andy Sharpe – bass James Harland-Wright – guitar Craig Wilson – keyboards, vocals