William the Conqueror’s Proud Disturber of the Peace: Review

Photo credit: barrelhousetones.co.uk

Rustic folk blues is the pure essence of ‘Proud Disturber of the Peace’, the debut album from Americana trio William the Conqueror released on August 4th. By blending an assortment of genres together, it illustrates how Ruarri Joseph’s new project has been so carefully crafted.

Taking their name from a 11th century Norman King, you’d expect William the Conqueror to be raucous and guttural. Although many tracks off their debut LP ‘Proud Disturber of the Peace’ thrive off power and energy, coalescing soft-hearted melodies and sentiment are throughout. William the Conqueror are pure slick folk.

The Cornwall band released their first single “In My Dreams” back in May which is also the opener to the album. Moody and gritty, the fast pace bluesy guitar riff is punchy and you can’t help but stomp your foot to the rhythmic snappy drumming of fellow member Harry Harding.  “Tend to the Thorns” is anthemic with Joseph’s jagged voice sounding close to Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon. More of an indie-rock track with strong vibes of Americana.

“Did you Wrong” is a standout track as it gives vibes of the 50s hellbent blues and rock ‘n’ roll scene. With its loose guitar melody and subtle backing vocals from Naomi Holmes and Harry Harding, it substantiates that the band are sundry in genres and are capable of merging anything together. Similarly, “The Many Face of a Good Truth” and “Mind Keeps Changing” also give off comparable vibes, with gritty melodies and bluesy guitar solos throughout.

“Pedestals” and “Sunny is the Style” are much slower and melancholy and flourish of the theme of nostalgia and desiring. As Joseph had a successful solo career releasing a quartet of albums, his incredible unpretentious story-telling lyrics are highlighted more in these two tracks. The pace is picked up again with “Proud Disturber of the Peace”, a much heavier sound with a rugged bassline from Naomi Holmes. The tracks have quite the exploding ending, most definitely disturbing the peace.

“Cold Ontario” is another stand out track with sublime harmonies and very relaxing riffs. It’s different in the sense it’s groovy and Joseph’s vocals truly shine proving he is quite the multi-instrumentalist. The final track, “Manawatu” introduces the harmonica, conveying an old-school folk feeling. The melody and instruments are soft and gentle along with Josephs voice providing a memorable ending to the album.

Overall, William the Conqueror have certainly made their mark in the Americana music scene with their debut album. By fusing genres, you can palpably hear that the thought-process behind this project was carefully considered as it is crafted so beautifully. A tremendous debut album.

You can read our concert review, where they played with Danny and the Champions, here

By Becky Lumbard

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