Americana UK - Tuesday, 03 May 2016
'Another Black Hole' is the fourteenth album by Malcolm Holcombe. It brings together a fine group of musicians to deliver an accomplished set of songs. It walks that fine tightrope between being both new and familiar at the same time. There is a sincerity and depth to Holcombe's acerbic and incisive lyrics, delivered in a growling, sometimes even guttural way. It’s refreshing to hear the breath and life of Holcombe’s delivery, testimony to some fantastic production work by Ray Kennedy. Sometimes it is like Holcombe is sat on your shoulder, singing just for you.
Throughout the album, right from the opening track 'Sweet Georgia Brown', the playing is top notch with a swing and groove that shows a closeness and understanding between Holcombe's musical companions. You don't get to sound this effortless without a shed load of work and this feels like the real deal: musicians who love to play as a unit, working for the sake of the song, not individual virtuosity. Holcombe’s style might not be everyone's cup of tea perhaps, but as he sings..."The radio plays for the happy go lucky, that ain't my set of wheels".
Holcombe is playing a few dates in UK and Ireland in May, with long time compatriot, Jared Tyler, who features strongly on Another Black Hole. This reviewer has already bought his ticket and is looking forward to seeing the live rendition of some great songs.