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Walsall's Jack Cattell, Adult Life - EP review

Walsall's Jack Cattell is releasing his debut EP Adult Life to the world.

The EP artwork
The EP artwork

Recorded in the mobile The Ammp Studio in the West Midlands with Sam Stringer, it's four tracks of sweet guitar pop anchored by Cattell's deep almsot Jake Bugg-esque vocals.

Two we have heard before - summer singles Your Royal Highness and Good Old Mr.Daniel's are both included. The other pair will be able to be heard by fans for the first time when the EP goes live tomorrow via his Spotify and Soundcloud profiles.

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He points to the likes of Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Grennan, Frank Turner and Brian Fallon as influences and it's clear to see that singular singer-songwriter tack is where he sees his career.

In particular, on Good Old Mr.Daniel's you get that lone man taking on the world vibe. Jack, armed with his trusty gee-tar, strums away happily telling drinking tales in honour of what is clearly a favourite tipple of his given the title and much of his artwork across his social media channels.

The country feel is foot-tapping, particularly in the musical interludes as he takes a break from singing.

Your Royal Highness has more of a bluesy feel as the song staggers along lazily with deep bass and almost agitated guitars carrying us throughout the meander.

Walsall's Jack Cattell Photo: Connor Walker, www.connorwalkerphotos.com

Of the new material The Cowboy Blues is probably the strongest - perhaps the highlight of the whole EP. It's confident and swaggers nicely while delivering that swampy sunshine guitar melody over the top of the track. Cattell's voice is also probably better suited to this type of delivery. He shows more confidence half-speaking, half-singing his message through gravelly tones.

And closer No Longer 18 (Live At WCR FM) ditches the backing music to leave Cattell alone solemnly strumming his heartbroken number out while softening his tones slightly to suit the atmospherics. It's tender and sweet, and its heartfelt core makes you feel involved.

It's an interesting introduction to Cattell, without smacking you out of the park and dropping your jaw. With confidence we could see him flourish into an accomplished songwriter.

Rating: 6/10

Jack Cattell will be playing a free in-store gig at HMV Wolverhampton tomorrow to coincide with the EP release at 2pm. He will also be playing at Birmingham's Actress & Bishop on November 15 with support from Wolverhampton's The Jack Fletcher Band. Tickets are available from his Bandcamp page. On December 6 he plays on Strawberry Moon Records' Christmas show at Darlaston Town Hall, before playing on December 14 at The Crosswells Inn in Langley, Oldbury, raising money for mental health charities. For more on Jack Cattell and tickets for his shows, follow him on Twitter @JCattellMusic and Facebook @jackcattellmusic

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