Chaos & Calypso is John J Presley's first new album for 3 years, the Brighton based gothic noir blues singer plays most of the instruments. The album was mainly recorded at Courtyard studios and guests musicians include Terry Edwards, Tom Herbert and Laura-Mary Carter.
The A-side opens with Silhouettes that has the feel of a slow dark Nick Cave style song about things that happen in the shadows, with the occasional musical freak out adding punch to the lyrical content.
Sinnerman is about calamitous events, as the Sinnerman hits the asphalt, as this slowly builds around the bassline, making clear this has nothing to do with the Sinnerman on The Chase or any other quiz show.
Sea Of Deserters is for anyone whose run scared of sticking to their guns, this is full of pain threatening to burst out at any point into a Gallon Drunk style sonic miasma, that has Terry Edwards squalling Clarinet at its heart. Will he get what was promised to him, only if it involved loads of feedback and distortion.
Gold pulsates in measured tones burying Hadley's ghostly presence, with renewal as a new man.
Those Three Words you may be afraid to say, so the bass drum taps them out morse code style, as this early hour of the morning tale unfolds, will he dare to say Those Three Words that are not One More Drink.
The B-side opens with Delicate Thread (Blue Eyes) that has the noir country blues feel similar to Sam Baker, but infused with a healthy dose of Nick Cave at his most morose, the dark hued tale unfurls while he wonders what goes on behind those Blue Eyes as the guitars wail away the pain caused when you can't decide between Chaos or Calypso, he may need a visit from the Mighty Sparrow to help make his mind up.
Hold The Ties is as pitch black as a John Murry murder ballad, as slow as any Leonard Cohen song ever was, this will provoke a dark thought or two.
Into The Fire is slow with tonal shifts, a blues guitar resonating away as the lyrics are carefully uttered for maximum effect.
The album closes with The Sequel that markedly changes things up, sounding more like Tindersticks have decided to make a dance track, but the producer has freaked out, throwing in squalls of noise between the verses, to unnerve the listener one final time at the end of this beguilingly dark album.
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