Album review: Jon Epworth - Shop Sounds
Shop Sounds is appropriately titled; Epworth is the consummate musical craftsman. Recorded literally in a wood shop, this is largely a one-man tour de force. Epworth seems to like an angle for his creativity (his last pair of releases were a metal-influenced prog-rock opera and a Stax Records-influenced soul-rock throwdown) and this time out it’s as straight-ahead a rock record as we’ve heard since 2006’s full-band effort Wet On Wet. The hook here is that the songs were written and recorded as quickly as possible, entirely by the man himself. He’s invited a different guest contributor to each track, to work with the same approach: listen once or twice, lay down the first thing that comes to mind. The resulting album is both focused and eclectic. The kicker is that wearing all of these (hard)hats doesn’t dilute the musical pool; Epworth is himself a thoroughly kick-ass band all over this thing. An obvious reference point is Queens of the Stone Age, but it’s never that simple. This is an album Dave Grohl would love, but his fanbase might not get. Required listening for rock fans who think they’re smart.
Listen/purchase: SHOP SOUNDS by Jon Epworth