Next week sees another charity release from the Johnny and The Mental Breakdowns stable, this time from bassist Simon Turner. Some seventeen years in the recording process, this release finally comes to fruition. With assistance from a stellar cast of “Associates” this three-track effort is a great offering for a wonderful cause. Mental health issues affect a great deal of our population; not least members of this very band, and in the current climate dictated by Covid we are seeing these issues more and more. So what about the music you ask? Well, unlike “Top of The Punks” which pulled from the Punk genre, this is more of an Indie affair.

Track one “Nova Scotia” begins gently enough, breezing in with a clicky guitar part alongside a structured brass section. It has more than a nod to mid 90’s Indie/Britbeat (with a Moddy twist). Swirling guitar squalls adorn a brief bridge before that unfussy drumbeat in the background comes to the fore. I’m briefly reminded of The Rifles/Paul Weller yet it has enough clout to stand tall on its own merit.

“Don’t Stop Your Heart (From Breathing)” immediately reminds me of David Bowie in the vocal – it has that husky, gravelly tone that quickly evaporates into the chorus. It’s a breezy, Summery little number with again unfussy drum-tapping, yet the vocals take center stage. The chorus then meanders through to an (IMO) overlong conclusion, where I just feel it would be better served as your classic three-minute song. That apart I understand how resonant and important that chorus is.

Simon Turner & Associates

‘Unforgettable’ I have to say is a truly wonderful re=appraisal of a Nat King Cole standard. Steeped in the early 90’s Indie/Dance crossover of that era, it is greatly enhanced by the vocal of one ‘Alex Chambovey’ whose delivery takes the song to a whole new level. More swirling guitars accompany the echoey male vocal at the start, but it’s Alex’s vocal that is the star turn. I am of the opinion that this could’ve, maybe should’ve been the lead track; such is its immediacy. The guitars just grab you; haul you in and keep you interested, while the conclusion is sharp.

At a time when everything musical seems to be an online streamed gig, I for one yearn for something more concrete. If you do nothing with your hard-earned cash this week then spare a couple of quid and purchase this great single. Even better you’ll be supporting a great cause during Mental Health Awareness Week with all proceeds going to mind.org.uk.

Track listing
Nova Scotia
Don’t Stop Your Heart (From Breathing)
Unforgettable (Nat King Cole cover)

Purchase the EP here.

Links
https://www.facebook.com/STandAssociates
https://simonturnerassociates.bandcamp.com

Review by Ross A. Ferrone

Simon Turner & Associates

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