Shambles Miller got in touch with me a wee while ago to ask me to review this, his debut EP. Guess what? If you come to Aye Tunes often you’ll know the answer to that question is, of course, that it went into the pile of stuff and didn’t get dealt with very promptly. In the meantime Mr Miller has been all over the place, getting plays from Jim Gellatly and doing a wee session for Glasgow PodcART, so chances are you’ve heard of him by now.
Well, tough luck, because now I’m going to chip in with my thoughts on the EP.
First of all, a guy with a guitar is a pretty hard sell for me. Too many nights of sitting through open mics, not to mention the terrible busker who occasionally takes up residence on Paisley’s High Street means my ears have heard a lot of it, of wildy difficult quality, so I’m never really over eager to listen to another man bashing away at his acoustic guitar.
The EP kicks off with Pssst! a ramshackle affair that lives up to the Shambles name, but endearingly so. Simple enough melodies and tongue in cheeks storytelling lyrics, combined with a real sense of warmth make Pssst! a cute, enjoyable little song, which is good enough for me to give the rest of the EP a go and not just stop there.
Robots is a bit more polished, with a bit of a punky folk edge to it, but retains the warmth of Pssst! It’s possibly the best song about robots I’ve heard in ages. Even if it isn’t really about robots.
Nothing Unfolding is my least favourite of the bunch, but I’m not really sure why. It may be that being the longest of the songs on the EP it suffered a little from my attention wandering a smidge before the end. It’s still a perfectly good song though, I’m just as fond of it as the others.
My Best Friend Is An Outsider is punchy, with some double bass masquerading as cello giving things a bit of a melancholy air, before everything comes to a satisfyingly shouty end.
Shambles Vs. The Dragonwizard is a decent little debut, and there’s plenty about both Shambles and his songs to set him aside from the pack.