Scene and Heard  – CCXXXX : Gentle  –  The Rumble Skulls (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

3622b3_06fdc4e18e3b43bcb0a5ed7bbf7a78d4~mv2_d_1600_1600_s_2Whilst the bands name and generally imagery suggests something a bit more foot on the monitor, rock and roll, and indeed a quick dip into their other musical offerings confirms this, Gentle, as the name suggests, comes from a more considered place. It fact it comes from that place that seems to often deliver great cross over music, the place where bands step out of their comfort zones and  explore the generic landscape more full. It is a place where popsters toy with rock muscle, where rockers get their head around pop sensibilities and understatement. And whilst Gentle isn’t a million miles away from the Rumble Skulls signature sound, it does offer some nice balance.

The charm of the record is that it sheds a few layers without losing its grove and drive, it is just this time out it rocks on an acoustic guitar led rhythm and funky beat. The vocals are impressive and the short solo break, they should always be this short, throws in a lovely touch of oriental spice. In short it rocks without being a full blown rock song, it pops without resorting to cliche and fashion and it swerves that dangerous rock-ballad territory by keeping things upbeat and fun.

When you look at the people that make up The Rumble Skulls it is easy to see why this song works so well, with credits ranging from Gary Barlow to David Gray to Lionel Richie and songwriting for film and mainstream TV, it is clear that this is a band who know what makes a good song, and this is undoubtable a good song. And what makes it a good song is the limits that it sets on itself…none. Gentle could just as easily be found ripping up the charts in the hands of the latest pop sensation as it could as the swan song of a stadium show from any number of rock stalwarts or being played in a small grassroots venue by an unknown, underground indie-kid acoustic troubadour appealing to the cool movers and shakers.  And when you have a song that versatile how could it not be a sure fire winner.

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