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EP Review: Gavels – Ragged By Design

Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, it feels damn good to be back behind this keyboard right now.

In a few days or so I’ll drop a post about what I’ve been doing and as always filling you all in on my life and my journey as I always have. However, that can wait because right now I’ve got some music to review. As a wise man once said; “Let’s get down to business.”

Gavels are a 3-piece coming out of Glasgow treating the world to their brand of something they’re calling Tweed Rock. (The music is better than the title suggests I promise) The band is made up of Kevin Murray (Vocals, Acoustic Guitar) Greg Leighton (Electric Guitar) and Aileen Anderson (Vocals) and Ragged By Design is the trios debut EP, and what a damn fine effort it is as well.

Things get underway with the stripped back Grace. It’s not often a record will open with such a slow track but very subtly it draws you in and wraps you up in a soothing embrace of delicate melodies and smooth vocals. Melody is a theme of this EP and on here in particular it reminds you of those long summer nights. My one slight criticism is that in the final 3rd the song meanders around a bit without really doing anything. This, along with final track So Tired could have been slim lined just a touch. Admittedly it is a fine line, and it doesn’t detract from what is a very good song.

It’s a bit of a strange statement but I think that the opener in a very small way takes some of the shine off following track Hello My Old Friend. The fact that it is at the same quite slow tempo makes the first half of the EP feel a little one paced. Again, it’s not a huge issue by any means but it’s my job to pick up on these things. That being said, this is a beautifully melancholic, wistful and delicate pondering over missed opportunities.  I’m a huge fan of this song, and the more I listened to it the better it got, and the only thing stopping it from being my favourite on the EP is Meant To Be.

The pace kicks up a gear, a sunnier disposition takes over, Anderson her first real appearance and we even get treated to a guitar solo. Everything about this tune is just completely on point. I love it. And the guitar solo is the icing on the cake, the tone is simply nectar for the soul. (Not even sure that line works but you’re getting it anyway)

Proceedings are then brought to a close by the aforementioned So Tired. Yet another slick melody leads the way before what is almost a call and response section between Murray and Anderson takes over in the hook. The song didn’t quite pull me in as the others did but it’s another perfectly good tune, meaning it’s a full house from me, I don’t dislike a single track.

I went into reviewing Ragged By Design completely blind, I had no idea what I was going to discover but it’s served as a mighty fine surprise. There are a couple of niggles with the pacing and a couple of the songs losing a little focus, but other than that it’s very difficult to find fault with this one. The biggest compliment I can give it is that it’s reminded me why I love to do this.

Thank you Gavels for the welcome back gift.


Ragged By Design Is Out Now.

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