Fellowcraft’s debut album, “Get Up Young Phoenix” is a magnificent record. It is inventive, progressive, current and modern, highly inspired music, yet feels classic at the same time. It is a marvelously dynamic album that has many peaks and valleys and it actually feels like an experience from start to finish lyrically, musically and thematically. I had very high expectations for this collection, as I had reviewed a couple of the tracks a few of months back, and my expectations were literally blown to pieces as a fan this band proves to be a powerhouse of a recording act.
Compared to the mass majority of crap produced by our illustrious corporate overlords “Get Up Young Phoenix” is amazing. JR MACDONALD’s voice is incredible, he has the power, emotion and range to scream, croon and serenade with any of the greats. JR’s guitar, together with BRIAN NELSON-PALMER on drums and BRANDON WILLIAMS on bass, produces thick walls of sound that stir the soul and washes over the ears.
In creating a soundscape, slicing angular riffs or hammering a groove, when you combine the vocal abilities of JR with the drumming of NELSON-PALMER and monstrous thunder of WILLIAMS’ bass, it really is a blend of three musicians who gel in a way that makes the whole band rise above others. NELSON-PALMER’s perfect timing and groove is so reliable that he is largely underrated. WILLIAMS’ bass playing lays a foundation that augments the percussion while adding to the low end harmoniously.
Their entire collection of songs is brimming with brilliance in many hues. Pay particular attention to the title track “Get Up Young Phoenix”, as well as “Glass Houses”, “Long Gone”, “The Dying Of The Light”, “Learning To Love Again”, “I Want It All” and “The Last Great Scotsman”. All throughout, this Washington DC formed band, defines what it means to fire on all cylinders all throughout this eleven song opus. JR MACDONALD leads the charge with vocals that are truly top-notch, as he delivers a truly empowering and inspiring performance that engraves itself onto the listener’s frontal lobe after only one listen. And he is backed up by more than ample musical propulsion.
Fellowcraft sound as powerful as they do inviting, and as warm as they do wailing. So whether opting for maximum aggression or pulling back on the reigns a bit and dropping into an infectious melody, you would be hard-pressed to find a single moment of weakness in all of “Get Up Young Phoenix”. Therefore, it is more than just a rock album. It is a great rock album. Do yourself a favor and play this loud and in your car or on great speakers to get the full effect. The production and mix is deep, raw and raucous, bringing out so many incredible and powerful nuances after repeated spins. Hence, it ought to be deemed as an absolutely essential listen for pure rock connoisseurs the world over!