Sunday, 1 September 2013

White Sails - White Sails

EP review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk


Like many great ideas (and even more bloody awful ones), the seed for White Sails was sown over a few pints. Leigh Gregory had been a staple on the San Francisco music scene for some time, fronting the band Mellow Drunk, as had Finnish musician Ville Vilpponen of power-pop band The Bias. Ville's brother Jaakko makes up the trio. However, it wasn't them whose mild intoxication led to this idea. Fruits de Mer Records boss Keith and Nick Leese from Heyday Mail Order were discussing Keith's plan to release an acoustic instrumental single. Nick mentioned his friend who had been working on covers of two Black Sabbath acoustic tracks. After a blank stare and a pause, the originals of these songs were sought out, and unless you knew, there's no way you'd guess these quite beautiful tunes were by the gods of metal.

So now we have the result: White Sails. Two Sabbath covers and two originals, and those covers really are quite magical. Not being a follower myself, I had no idea the dark lords made such material, but these interpretations of 'Laguna Sunrise' and 'Fluff' are bewitching in totally the opposite way to how you may expect. They are truly beautiful and reasonably faithful interpretations. Along with the covers we get two originals, one by Ville and one by Leigh. These both follow in the same vein, with the former ('The Answer') giving further proof that, despite so many bands attempting to destroy its image, the acoustic guitar can still make legitimately good new material, in this instance with the merest peppering of psych over the top to liven it up. It's a fine composition. Not to be outdone, Leigh offers up the folky 'Death On A Pale Horse', another song that goes a long way to showing just how misused the acoustic guitar has become. We even get a beat with this one, finishing this surprisingly fab EP off in some style.





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