Album Review

George Marios – Daffodil: Album Review

George Marios, touring guitarist with The Pineapple Thief, releases his debut solo album. A collection of guitar-driven stories about love, loss and overcoming.

Release Date: 21st August 2020

Label: Independent

Format: DL – Bandcamp

When The Pineapple Thief’s Bruce Soord asks you to join his band on the road as a touring member, it adds a seal of approval. Sort of ‘by Royal appointment’. Alongside the more obvious guitar focus, we’re promised songs (mixed by Soord) with progressive and alternative overtones.

Like Charlie Barnes, who fulfils a similar role with Amplifier and on a slightly larger scale with Bastille and Mike Vennart with Biffy Clyro, George is one of those unsung heroes. A behind the scenes mover and shaker and it’s grand to hear his guitar playing upfront.

The way is paved in the cascades that open the title track – a swinging beefier version of country rock, delivered with a country rawk confidence. “Everything turns into dust, but this won’t be us,” he hollers with a gritty determination.

At less than two minutes, Waking Up is a brilliant instrumental piece of atmosphere and dynamics, perhaps the closest relation to the other job. One that in fact might have made a nice introduction to the album rather than take place in leading into the jerky bounce and female backing vox on Light. One where the blitz of a solo reminds us of the Marios chops.

It’s not long until we’re well into a routine of swing and groove and the chance to let off steam with the occasional and perfectly acceptable indulgence in a series of fleet-fingered lead breaks. Fall On Me in particular features something akin to spectacular double somersaulting with wild twists and turns.

Songs that are part easy-going and chilled, part explosive and passionate – point in case Your Mind, that could easily pass or a Soord composition, simmering gently before the ticking rhythm stops and we’re into a Buckingham Nicks vocal passage.

The vocals get pushed into the red, singing hoarsely and channelling a bit of Chris Cornell in the rawness on Over And Over – “Feels like I’m coming alive…yeeeaaahhhh.” In the hands of Papa Het it could be a Metal anthem. However, the balance gets redressed with a ‘lighters/mobile phones held aloft’ closure courtesy of the angst of On Your Own.

The balance between light and shade, soft and hard, delicacy and bombast pervades the record. Nine tracks down the line, our loins have been girded by music that speaks of redemption, courage, and the power of the spirit. By God, how could we all do with some of that.

Listen to Your Mind here:

George Marios online: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Youtube

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