Review: Tony Wright – Walnut Dash

Tony Wright - second albumMake no mistake about it, anyone who has loved Tony Wright’s work in the past with Terrorvision, Laika Dog or his solo work is going to love this album. Those who tried out his debut solo album Thoughts ‘n’ All and found this a more contemplative and retrospective piece of work and found it was not for them are going to be pleasantly surprised. It may have taken what seems like a lifetime for this second album to appear but it is most definitely worth it, this is without a doubt one of Tony’s most confident, optimistic and best pieces of work to date.

I came to it having enjoyed the debut and having seen Tony play live recently, expecting more in the same vein with perhaps a few upbeat songs thrown into the mix but this album really is a blast. The first testament I can pay is that all of the songs he played live last month were instantly recognisable as that knack for a catchy hook is still apparent across the album

The album opens with “Music is the Food for Love”, which is also the lead single off the album. The intro starts up almost sounding like The Offspring’s “Pretty Fly for a White Guy” but it some becomes a Tony Wright song. The song itself is basically about a love affair with music and the joy that brings to you. It’s a great album opener though with its extremely catchy “Music is the Food of Love, Rock On” chorus. To keep this vibe going and really announce the record and it intentions second song “One Size Fits all” is even more intensely rocking than the opener. It has a great catchy riff, which Tony then interjects very well with the spaces between the lyrics, which are almost bellowed with enthusiasm. If anything it reminds me of second album period, The Stereophonics at their rockiest.

One of the best singalong album comes in the form of “Lost Property”, a gently picked guitar intro and lyrics with a more soulful approach eases us into the track before the full band blasts in and this comes an instant appeal sing along song. After hearing this you will be singing “I’m Lost, Lost Property” for the rest of the day. There’s a lot of depth to this song and the first where a darker vibe is introduced as well. As Tony sings of streets of gold, empty promises, there is a feeling of alienation and dark empty streets created. Before long though we are back into that catchy chorus.

This album is full of favourite songs but the one I think that I have found myself most addicted to is “Life’s Too Short”. It is simple, plaintive, the word play is impressive, it has all the ingredients to be a very radio friendly single that could get under the nations skin. Lyrically, it is equally hopeful and reminiscent. It’s about taking time to appreciate what and who you have. It is the wordplay on this track you will come to love, it is cleverly put together. Life, affirming, simple, brilliant. Which could actually be the tag line for the whole album!

One of the strongest aspects of this album is the lyrically interplay, both the choice of words, message and the way Tony interweaves this with the music. I would say it is lyrically led but in such a way that is easy to enjoy. This isn’t aimed above you but directly to you in an easy and simple manner. “Ruse Up” is another good example of this.

As explained in my intro; something else you are going to love about this album is that it rocks and no more than on “Delete Repeat” which is not just rocking but goes into thrashy metal interludes and somehow he carries this off on the album without it being out of place.

The last two songs are both perfect singalong songs. First up is “Where Would I be”, which has a great singalong chorus but also a great combination of acoustic and electric guitars and probably the solo of the album. The final track of the album is “Opposites Attract” and is probably another of my favourite songs. The opening riff is reminiscent of earlier interludes on the album, but this time played as a solo on the guitar and this for me helps create that cohesiveness of the album and give it a continuity. This really is the perfect singalong and will definitely be sang at a many Tony Wright gig so you may as well as learn the lyrics now.  “It take all sorts to make the world go around, but I like the fact that opposite attract. Vocally this is actually classic Terrorvision, great punchy lyrics that you will really enjoy.

You need to get this album now because this really is Tony Wright back to his best. Yet another contender for album of the year. And don’t forget to tell the people, you love, you love them.

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