REVIEW - The Bateleurs - 'The Sun In The Tenth House' (Album - Milanamusica Records)
With a resurgent blues-rock scene in the UK, it's good to see the likes of Elles Bailey riding high in the charts, and bands and artists such as Brave Rival and Jack J Hutchinson putting out great releases recently. Lisbon, Portugal might not be the first place you'd expect an addition to the list of great contemporary blues-rock artists to hail from, but with their debut album 'The Sun In The Tenth House', The Bateleurs are just that. The band - Sandrine Orsini (Vocals), Marco Reis (Guitars), Ricardo Dikk (Bass) and Rui Reis (Drums) - have put together a powerful ten track collection that will 'rock 'n' roll' you and in parts leave you breathless with the charged music within.
The first five tracks on the album has very little let-up from the twisting, muscular riffing of Marco, the powerhouse vocals of Sandrine and the firm, robust rhythm support provided by Ricardo and Rui, with opener 'Nine Lives To Waste' providing a statement of intent of what's to follow, a tight dramatic number showing the band's strengths from the beginning. 'All We Are' varies the pace a little, a slow-burn of a groove permeating the dual guitar and bass riffing while singles 'Rise Above The Storm' and 'Revolution Blues' are both stomping rockers with Sandrine in fine voice and the band finding time to put in quieter interludes between the fearsome riffing. 'I'll Go All The Way' has an impressive slide guitar solo before 'City Of Lights' documents the band's ability to play a quieter, slower number - a soulful ballad with some nice jazzy chords amongst its 'torch-like' tune. 'Battle Horse' is back to the fuzzed-up riffing in fine style while 'Back To The Bayou' has a more laid-back feel with some more excellent slide guitar playing and fine vocal harmonies on the choruses. 'So Good' is a more commercial tune perfect for radio play, and the album finishes with the acoustic 'Red Rover' - a delicate ballad and a lovely way to finish the album.
'The Sun In The Tenth House' is an exciting, dynamic record full of great playing and singing with varied tunes and atmospheres that doesn't diminish the power of the band. Fans of the blues-rock of the classic 70s bands right up to more contemporary acts will find plenty to enjoy in the album's fluid riffing, tough grooves and soulful, bluesy vocals and The Bateleurs are another name to add to those excellent blues-rock bands currently making waves. If you thought musically that Portugal was all about fado, The Bateleurs and this album will make you think again!
'The Sun In The Tenth House' is available on all the major digital sites with CD versions available from The Bateleurs bandcamp page - www.thebateleurs.bandcamp.com