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Overspill Poets

Posted: January 12th, 2009, by Mandy Williams

Overspill Poets were first conceived in a Tyneside flat by guitarist George Kitching and singer Tim Taylor before Kitching progressed to nineties Kitchenware outfit Hug. After a long gestation this new reincarnation sees the pair deliver a promo CD of material for their new album due out later this year.


It’s very much an alt-country affair. I played this in my car on a long journey and found it to be ideal road trip soundtrack but perhaps more suited to a sun drenched Interstate 5 than the rainy M62. The gorgeous ‘Neon Lights,’ begins the first leg.  London’s gear when you grew up round here,’ sings Taylor over huge curling slide guitar licks that skate off into ad hoc riffs. ‘Sound of Sirens’ starts a little like Jersey rock but the voice ensures it stays more within the realm of Teenage Fanclub. Mid journey ‘Summer,’ changes route with a reggae/dub mix without veering far from their trademark enticing beat driven melodies. While the Dylanesque ‘Boxing Gloves,’ finds ‘the neighbourhood curtains twitching again as he buys you roses and sleeps with your friends.’ I’m always a sucker for a song that name checks Holly Golightly and the reference to Hazey Jane makes me think of the Nick Drake quality of the vocal. There’s a little pit-stop for my favourite track ‘Ricochets.’ It’s actually quite a simple song but one that engages immediately as the instruments rebound to reflect the title and compliment the lyrics, ‘bind it to me with promises, live in transit to the edge.’ ‘Independence Day’ has an upbeat Ryans Adams feel to it. With ‘Walking Tall’ and ‘Northern Star’ we are now firmly dwelling in the house of Americana. The former with a psych perspective, the latter has an authoritative hook. Next they muse on finding ‘Inner Space,’ ‘I don’t need a volunteer to bang a drum and bend my ear, pull me out of here before I lose another year.’ The vocal now reveals a deeper timbre. Journeys end comes with ‘Vital Signs,’ a bluesy piece – think Ry Cooder meets The Doors with the backing track from ‘Loose Fit.’


Throughout the collection of songs Taylor’s distinctive vocals tower above the attendant instrumentation and keep the resultant sound firmly on this side of the Atlantic. Whether understated or extravagant, Overspill poets make a promising return with a richly crafted piece which comes from the heart.




Mandy Williams


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