This Rusty Shackle article was written by Luke Priestley, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse.
Almost three years after the release of their second studio album, Rusty Shackle are back with ‘Dusk’. From the hard-hitting and powerful ‘When The Morning Comes,’ to the subtle and heartfelt ‘Ellidaey Island,’ the LP covers every angle of musical style within the band.
Rusty Shackle have been floating around in the alternative folk scene for a good while, and have an enthusiastic and loyal following with the first single from the album – incidently the first song on the new LP – reaching as high as number three in the iTunes singer/songwriter charts, and number 80 in the iTunes singles chart. A fantastic achievement for an independent band releasing under their own label.
‘Dusk’ is by no means an album which can be viewed as a whole; listening to it is like a roller-coaster ride of musical styles, with songs varying between exquisite and intricate to simple and catchy. The variance in sound means there is no doubt a song for everyone to enjoy on the album. Each song can be viewed on its own as something very different to the rest of the album, however the band maintains a theme flowing through the album that ties it together.
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‘When The Morning Comes’ is a brilliant example, it opens the album hard hitting and in your face. It’s the sort of song that finds a little nook inside your mind and stays there; an earworm. In complete contrast is ‘Moving On’, a duet between between lead singer Liam and Remy Beasley (a talented young welsh singer/songwriter) which, due to the sound of the pair’s voices, could be a folked-up Of Monsters & Men song. This continues throughout the LP from the pop-folk and almost Disney sounding ”Lion In Winter,’ to the quietly plucked ‘Lonely Lighthouse Life’ and the stunning hook-driven ‘Lucinda Returned’, Rusty Shackle take you on a journey through the variety of sound that can be achieved within alternative folk.
With each listen this album becomes stronger and stronger and after the third or fourth listen you’ll be belting out the lyrics and jigging around your kitchen with it on full blast. A lot of people can be put off by an artist being labelled as alternative folk thinking it’s just a Mumford & Sons rip-off, but Rusty Shackle are far from that – their sound is much deeper and more musically interesting. They might not reach the heady heights of number one albums, but the lads from Monmouth have produced an interesting and engrossing album.
‘Dusk’ is out now via Get Folked Records.