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Articles Home » 2016 Articles » Swamp Born Assassins, The - 2016 Smell The Mud
Swamp Born Assassins, The - 2016 Smell The Mud

ARTIST: Swamp Born Assassins, The
ALBUM: Smell The Mud
LABEL: Carnivora Records
YEAR: 2016
SPONSOR: Steven Craven


LINEUP: Charlie Moffat - vocals, harmonica * David Nimmo - guitars * Steven Craven - drums

Additional Musicians: Alf Vesterlev - additional guitars, keyboards, backing vocals * Tommy Granli - bass * Linkan Andersson - lead guitar 'Never Ever Never' * Chris Glen - bass 'Never Ever Never' * Karl Birkely - keyboards 'Smell The Mud' * Noami - duet female lead vocal - 'Clara Belle Lee'

TRACK LISTING: 01 Out In The Rain * 02 Never Ever Never * 03 Walk Tall * 04 Dead Man Walking * 05 Land Of The Six Gun * 06 Crawl * 07 Smell The Mud * 08 The Gatorhole * 09 Clara Belle Lee



Here's a Scottish/Norwegian get together, doing southern rock blues. These blokes look like they are extremely displaced, but a meet-me-in-the-middle liaison in the middle of the North Sea is not the place to be smashing out the blues! But the way the Internet works these days, everybody associated with TSBA managed to keep their feet dry, even if the music is soaked in the spirit of the Confederate South. Originally a Scottish trio, the line-up of Moffat, Nimmo and Craven sought the assistance of a lead guitarist and bassist to fill out the band. They focussed their crosshairs over the water to Norway, where Alf Vesterlev and Tommy Granli (both of the Maudlin Hounds), hooked on. The result is a hefty brand of blues-based rock with some time honoured additions such as the harmonica added for good measure.

The Songs
The riffs abound on 'Smell The Mud', and with a solid back-end on offer, TSBA go about their business as if born to it. 'Out In The Rain' is a dour opening, and with the harmonica used as the lead/solo instrument, it surely makes for a different sound. 'Never Ever Never' churns out more thickened guitar in a tub-thumping delivery. Guitar solos from Swedish guest Linkan Andersson and added bass from former MSG member Chris Glen elevates this track to a personal best. 'Walk Tall' pumps out more dirty riffs, with gruff vocals and serpentine bass lines. There are edgy guitar parts on 'Dead Man Walking', the addition of the organ also gives it a trad feel. We head off into the Wild West and even with Indian Pow Wow sound bytes, the 'Land Of The Six Gun' is a closet classic in the making. Not quite blues rock, this one rides the range of southern groove metal; if there such a sub-genre. It's a lengthy tune, at seven and half minutes. 'Crawl' won't win Charlie Moffat any Steve Perry awards for melodic inspiration. The slightly deliberately distorted vocal adds to the mood of the song. The title track 'Smell The Mud' is a swirling mixture of flanging guitar lines, harmonica pop-ups and sinister vocal work, like something out of a 70's movie. Gotta love the General Grant car-horn intro to 'The Gatorhole', in fact there are several moments where the Dukes Of Hazzard' comes into play on this song. This could be a Blackfoot excerpt if ever there was one! To confound listeners even more, the clever 'Clara Belle Lee' could go off in any number of musical directions. I like how this one takes a more subdued approach, and I'm thinking Alannah Myles with the additional female vocals of one the band's backing singers: The Swampettes very own Naomi. A great way to finish up.

In Summary
TSBA aren't as old-school as they would probably like to be. Or maybe they don't want to be? Bands like Savoy Brown, Humble Pie and Ten Years After set the bar four decades ago, and while it's nice to see references like these, TSBA can decide their own direction and set their own standards. Whether it's the local pub in nearby Glasgow, or gigs over in other traditional blues strongholds such as Amsterdam or Chicago, this band should make for a rousing good time. Kudos too to Alf and Tommy for the excellent production, making this as strong as an outhouse door on a windy day! Give it a go, you can check out the tracks over at You Tube

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#1 | rkbluez on December 19 2016 19:34:42
Just cranked this one up...seriously rocking dirty bluesy stuff with a nice production.
#2 | gdazegod on December 19 2016 23:43:00
Now, to our regular Scottish brethren here, are there really swamps in the Campsie Hills north of Glasgow? Or is this a joke I'm not quite getting? lol
#3 | cradle1scot on December 20 2016 00:14:31
Hahaha. Thanks for the review George. Yes there actually is Swamps in the Campsie Hills where I stay. Just no Gators! Lol
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