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Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell: Don't Hear It...Fear It!
Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell is a name I never heard before, but upon checking my mail and finding the artwork of a man in a suit with the head of a large red owl accompanying the band moniker, I immediately dropped everything, an act that has my recently adopted cat avoiding me at all costs now, and immediately ran to the nearest player to throw this one on. Of course, I was met with a little unsureness in the back of my mind, as this is a Rise Above Records release, and unfortunately I haven’t taken too kindly to their albums, as well as have received plenty of hate mail in return. With the only media player available being a desktop with a working internal speaker, I figured a mono style output would greatly enhance the Psychadelic Rock sound of this band.

I’m all for a good Psychadelic Rock album, and Don’t Hear It…Fear It! does a good job at giving me an enjoyable experience with a matching sixties to early seventies sound through this internal speaker. I admit, “Mark of the Beast” didn’t start things off on the right foot, but as it progressed, the song that followed the introduction did catch me off guard, bringing the group back into a cohesive sound outside of what just sounded like noises meant to make sense in an altered state. This track, as well as “Red Admiral Black Sunrise” really stuck out the most to me, especially the latter with the heavier sound, no unimpressive introduction that was probably hurt by the means I was experiencing it, as well as a generally infectious, simpler performance all around that had a good amount of energy behind it, primarily around the half-way point where the slower pace picked up and had me bobbing my head along to the beat as if I were hypnotized. I also really got into “Scratchin’ & Sniffin'” for its slower pace and the additional emphasis on the Bass. It carried a bit of a Pink Floyd approach, which works out very well for what the band is going for.

Two things that this album really has going for it are that the songs never feel padded, but if they do seem that way, it’s because of a longer guitar solo that works with the music, as well as just sounds great. “Devil’s Island” seems like it goes on for an eternity, but in a good way. This was because of the extended guitar solo, which I found myself wrapped up in and hoping it wouldn’t really end any time soon. It clearly was there to help push the track past the seven minute mark, but it all sounds natural, unlike “Bean Stew.” This is the only song I had a problem with. The music itself was more eccentric and clearly meant to be a bit cheeky. However, the seven minute plus gap of silence made me realize this is nothing more than a hidden track given its own track number on the album. The song wasn’t bad, but that huge section of silence does end up pulling me out of such a great offering.

My decision to listen to Don’t Hear It…Fear It! through this one mono factory standard desktop tower speaker was easily the best choice for this release. The moment the music on “Mark of the Beast” finally kicked in, I felt as though I were six years old again listening to whatever Rock album my mother was playing on the old beat-up turntable we had. It also doesn’t help that I really liked what I heard outside of the nostalgia and factory standard atmosphere from Dell. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell hooked me with infectious as all hell riffs, and a varying environment that made me crave a mind altering substance, and I’m not a fan of them in any way unless you count alcohol. Either way, I definitely am impressed, and there’s plenty of songs that will have me coming back for more.

Article based on digital review material provided by Metal Blade Records.