Federal Charm - Across The Divide
Ever since laying my eyes on the double denim clad loveliness that is the Federal Charm boys at our, frankly amazing, website launch, I was hooked. With their classic rock leanings embellished with a blues tinged hand or two FC are acer than an ace thing on ace day. And what is more they don’t know it.
The Manchester blues infused rock foursome released their debut album in 2013 to critical acclaim, hitting the touring circuit hard to bag opening slots for Black Star Riders, Michael Schenker and UFO to name but a few.
Now hot on the heels of their success they are once more lapping the circuit as both support and solo acts to sold out shows across the country. Mid tour they released Across The Divide; a self-penned 11 track wonder after whetting the appetite with the blisteringly good Hercules, released as a digital download only in September.
Drawing from a rich talent pool that spans the classic rock genre with a massive blues filled injection that BB King would be proud of FC are chock full of melodic guitars, great riffs and phenomenal vocals. I likes it.
And whilst the first listen evokes thoughts of Free and Bad Company I soon realise they are definitively more versatile and lively. You just cannot ignore the immense swaggering riffs weaving their way through the entire album complimented by harmonious solos.
Guitar work driven along by the steady, fun filled and vibrant rhythm section, powers infections beats and groove tinged songs all the while embracing a classic blues rock composition that lends groove and structural perfection.
They never fail to spice things up as they throw in the unexpected; Guess What houses surprise organ work lending a slight country twang to proceedings; a vibe that is carried through on Give Me Something as it is touched by some Southern Banjo.
The smouldering blues don’t stay away for long; The Thrill, the unctuous ballad of These Four Walls overflowing with emotional vocals and the slow grind of God Forsaken all resplendent in their Blues undertakings.
And then another twist in the form of Hercules, a rambunctious little classic rock number; Silhouette with the catchy riffs and accessibility to make it a radio favourite. And finally to close the album; the immense Walk Away (Time and Time Again); plaintive, breath taking and gloriously mournful.
For every tear jerking blues number that Joe Bonamassa would be proud to call his there comes juxtaposition with their next offering; a perfect balance. In essence- the Woolworths pick and mix counter. A little bit of this and a little bit of that satisfies even the pickiest; there is something for everyone.
Well done Lads.
Words: Kat Hilton
The band play The Deaf Institute, December 10th.