The latest offering to come to me for review is the brand new album from Belfast; Northern Irelands own Hard Rock, Stoner, Groove Meisters, Baleful Creed.
If you move in the Belfast Rock scene circles and have never heard of Baleful Creed then you must be living under a rock, as the band made a lot of waves with their previous release, 2017’s Seismic Shifter, an album which I would highly rate. If you haven’t heard of the band then you will most likely have heard of the band’s guitarist John Allen’s amazing merch shifting abilities. Even fans of the band affectionately refer to him as Del Boy.
The new album entitled The Lowdown is the band’s third full-length offering. To be quite honest, I was expecting this album, in style and sound, to be a continuation from their previous album which I loved, but that was not the case. Now don’t get me wrong, the Baleful Creed sound is still there, but they have taken things in a slightly different direction, which can be heard in some tracks more than others. On top of that, on three of the album’s tracks, there is the addition of keyboards, two of which are provided by Keith Weir of The Quireboys.
Just like any other album, they all have their highlights and certain songs stand out more than others. Some of those highlights for me being the album’s opener, “Mr Grim”. A hard rocker with a bit of a commercial feel to it. This then moves into “The Phoenix”, a song where the bass of Davy Greer features very prominently on. The fourth song “Riled Up” is the most up-tempo track on the album and to me, has a bit of a punk vibe to it. “Tramalamapam”, which is right in the middle of the album, is Baleful Creed sounding like their stoner, hard rock roots. After that is “Confused”, which features Keith Weir on keys, is a good solid number. The ninth song on the album, “Line Of Trouble” is a nice little slow number that in places has a 1950’s retro feel to it.
The albums real big highlights to me are the opener “Mr Grim”, “Tramalamapam” and the album’s final track “Southgate Of Heaven”. A great song with a good hook and a catchy chorus. Keith Weir and bassist Davy Greer provide keys in this track with a sound that can only be described as reminiscent of the late, great John Lord on his legendary Hammond Organ. Drummer David Jeffers provides playing on the blues harp which gels really well with the sound of the keys and vocalist Fin Finlay is in really fine form on this one making it a perfect finish to a great album.
The Lowdown for me is a good, solid album from start to finish, with great material and equally good production. If you enjoyed “Seismic Shifter” then you certainly don’t want to miss this.
Review: David Stewart
Fin Finlay – Vocals / Guitar;
John Allen – Guitar;
Davy Greer – Bass / Vocals;
Dave Jeffers – Drums