Scapegoats : Hélène

Led on vocals by Anglesey-based Andy Bob Beaumont, Scapegoats are a blues-rock band with a very solid local reputation and an equally substantial set of influences.

The band, a four piece - Beaumont is joined by Mart Deeprose (drums/backing vocals), Micky Cox (bass/backing vocals) & Tony Baldock (lead guitar) - have released this six track EP as a showcase, and to raise funds for the M E Association. It was recorded at Penhesgyn Studio, Anglesey; mixed, engineered and mastered by John Lawrence.

The opening track is a blues from Sonny Boy Williamson II, Eyesight to the Blind, which was notably performed by Eric Clapton stood in a pulpit for the film of The Who's rock opera, Tommy. This reading is faithful to that version, enlivened by Tony Baldock's emphatic guitar solo. The second song Together is poppier than the rest, but there's a pathos to the lyric that seems to run through Beaumont's writing; even when seemingly celebrating a romance, as in Hélène, there is regret tugging at the sleeve of any happiness.

Letters is a re-recording of a track from Andy Beaumont's last solo album - Shed Songs - given a bluesy reading here, and again benefiting from Baldock's guitar ornamentation. Wing Mirror, with its "Time only works one way" chorus and simulated clock mechanism is well written and performed, infused with remorse. Ending the EP, Too Good to be True, offers a brighter, funkier take on Scapegoats' sound.

Unless we can slip back through time (and Wing Mirror tells us definitively we can't) this EP is unlikely to make a Welsh Music Prize shortlist - but it is honest music that has its place; Scapegoats are an accomplished band, and they obviously really enjoy playing blues based rock, making it equally enjoyable to listen.

[Buy Hélène from Bandcamp]