The Balladmongrels is a raucous new band featuring Dogs D’Amour frontman Tyla J. Pallas and Northern Irish singer-songwriter Matty James Cassidy. And with Trouble, released this week, they launch themselves firmly into rock n’ roll land with ten songs of dirty, sleazy, scuzzy raucous rock n’ roll.
Yeah, it’s Dogs-y, but it’s Dogs-y in every way anything involving Tyla absolutely should be – heartbreaking, honest, dark, and romantic. And yes, it’s also clearly Tyla, as evidenced by that unique Wolverhampton-meets-dirty-LA-Drawl and low-slung white Gretsch, but there’s a lot of Matty in here, too – quite deliberately: “I loved the idea of two songwriters from different generations collaborating – taking one of my ballads and getting a younger mongrel like Matty to give it some bollocks. It’s deliberate, otherwise it would turn into another Dogs album if it was centred around me. Music’s got to evolve and change”.
Following their first two singles; the rollicking and crashing Ballad of the Knucklemen and the anthemic title track Trouble, The Balladmongrels finally launch this – their first album – with a third single How the Beautiful Fall. Anyone who’s seen Tyla and Matty playing acoustic shows together may think they’ve got an idea of how the album sounds, especially given the ‘Ballad…’ reference in the band’s name and Tyla’s recent Isolation Crossing albums, but they’d be far, far wrong; How The Beautiful Fall, like the rest of the album, is full-on bar-room rock n’ roll. And it’s very, very good.
They’ve absolutely achieved what they set out to – Trouble (the album) is a stunning, laid-back, bluesy, Rolling Stones-influenced rock n’ roll record in its own right; filthy guitars, red-wine and cigarette-scarred vocals, with both writers taking on vocal duties. Storytelling, sing-out-loud catchy, moody and gothic but upbeat and melodic at the same time.
It’s an absolute stormer of a record; sure, it’s a nailed-on must-have for anyone who’s a fan of Tyla, the Dogs D’Amour, or Matty James Cassidy, but a lot, lot more than just that. It’s a belter of an album in its own right. Tyla once described Rock n’ Roll as ‘three chords, a guitar, and the truth’; he and Matty have achieved exactly that with Trouble. In spades.
Trouble is out now via Villains Music.
- Ballad of the Knucklemen
- How the Beautiful Fall
- Swingin’ Jack
- Highwayman Blues
- Evil Under The Moon
- Tall Ships
- Good Ol’ Days
[…] Album Review: The Balladmongrels – Trouble […]