When I was contacted by mellow rocker Stuart Newman, I knew I was in for something a little bit different. The Brighton musician self-taught himself to play piano and guitar and within a few years, it led to his debut album Single But Defective which was released online as a free download in 2009. With praise from BBC 6Music and AltSounds.com, the album led to recordings of several singles and the latest EP Bored Of Idiot Chatter.
The EP begins with (We’re Living In) Another Dimension, which according to The Brighton Source, “combines a bizarrely brilliant array of vocal layers with his trademark deep and occasionally eerie style at the fore”. With a steady beat and an indie slant on the vocals, it does indeed have an eerie tone to it. Ending on an alternative version of the song shows that it’s certainly an important song to Stuart. The alt version is mixed by Adam Bennett and includes the sound of the piano, which adds a different approach. They are however very similar, so it’s not easy to have a favourite between the two.
Feel The Temperature Rising, which was played on BBC Introducing:The South in 2011, comes on second and with all its spaced-out vocals, it’s certainly an intriguing track. A touch of Americana also tinges the vocals and the riff is catchy enough to actually be the main hook of the song. It really propels it forward and gives it all the oomph it needs. The electronic whizz at the very end is unexpected but it’s a great little twist.
Head Hurts is a track which has a slow Spanish sound to the acoustic guitar and a dream-like quality to the song overall. It’s laid-back with an echoey tone that has a kind of hazy distance about it, almost like a hangover, which ties in with the title. There is a drone to it, which isn’t the best feature in a track, in my opinion but it definitely fits into the mellow rock genre.
Cry Wolf is without a doubt my favourite track on the EP. It’s quirky and fun with so much character to it. Tom Robinson of 6Music said that it is “genuinely strange and original” and it’s a description I thoroughly agree with. The indie and pop-punk vibe to it and slightly faster tempo means that it stands out on the EP as different and I think it has “big hit potential” written all over it.
51st State is a slow simple riff which is packed full of political and philosophical lyrical content. A subtle call for revolution is at work underneath the words and it’s an incredibly powerful track. The simplicity contrasts with the heavy subject matter making it a very moving, effective song. It’s an awesome EP end track with a lot to say for itself.
Slow, chilled rock isn’t what I normally listen to but as you may know, I like to review a wide range of genres. Bored Of Idiot Chatter is a record which is certainly chilled. As the title may suggest, it’s full of clever riffs and intricate lyrics and storylines. While, on the whole, the music itself is simple, the songs are in fact far from idiot chatter.