Kim Lenz Slowly Speeding Blue Star
“The idea was to try and use all the ingredients that made up rock & roll, but shift around the time frames’’, explains Kin Lenz on the direction of her fifth solo album, the shamelessly rampant and abrasive Slowly Speeding. Though she is generally labelled as a rockabilly artist, Slowly Speeding is testimony to Kim Lenz’s wide musical footprint and her capacity to excel across wider genres including blues, gospel and old-time country, without ever straying far from her trademark rockabilly sound. Guitars screech, bass lines thump and drums keep pace with Lenz’s seductive vocals throughout the album, which finds Lenz and her cohorts at the top of their game from the outset. The brutal stomping blues opener Bogeyman sets the scene for what’s to follow. I’ll Find You has a dynamic beat that recalls Should I Stay Or Should I Go? by The Clash and the title track Slowly Speeding is a cracking two step country dance tune, with precise and alluring vocals (“Slowly speeding, my heart is beating, Going zero to sixty with you’’). Percolate is Chuck Berry sounding no nonsense rock & roll, naughty but nice (“ Percolating, percolating, stimulating, undulating, generating. You’ve got me percolating’’). Bury Me Deep is equally toe tapping and danceable with a ripping guitar break and pulsating bass lines throughout.
D.H. Phillips, who co-produced the album with Lenz, plays electric and steel guitar, Tjarko Jeen also plays guitar and adds six string bass, with Jake Erwin on bass and Santos De Leon on drums. Between them they create a dynamic musical landscape, the sympathetic production giving every instrument equal space to accentuate Lenz’s raspy growling vocals.
A rockabilly rollercoaster that delivers on so many fronts, I expect Slowly Speeding to be inhabiting my car CD player for quite a while in the coming months!
Review by Declan Culliton