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Herds - Falling Wide Awake

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 8 / 3 / 2024

Herds - Falling Wide Awake
Label: Herdwerks
Format: CD


Epic and diverse second album from acclaimed Nottingham-based band Herds, who were previously known as The Amber Herd

Hmmm, I think we’ve been led astray a little here. The band formally known as The Amber Herd describe themselves as, and I quote, “a Nottingham, UK, based independent psych rock group.” Okay, yes, they are from Nottingham and, yes, Nottingham is in the UK, but I fear they are not doing themselves justice with pigeonholing themselves as just “psych rock”. If you have had the pleasure of bumping into this bunch of more than adequate musicians. then you will know that they are much more than that. And, since their reincarnation as Herds they have, for me, diversified even more. Masquerading as The Amber Herd, they have spent the last decade recording and playing festivals including High Voltage, Bearded Theory and HRH Prog and indoor shows at venues including The Borderline and The Good Ship in London and Rock City and The Rescue Rooms in Nottingham. It is also worth noting that this clever outfit have, over the years, played with and supported bands including Echo & The Bunnymen, Hawkwind, The Waterboys, Jethro Tull, The Enid, Knifeworld, Ultrasound and Jesus Jones. This second offering comes off the back of two double A-side singles, a five track EP (the track ‘Magnolia’ featured on Channel 4’s ‘Hollyoaks’ ) and the band's debut album ‘Our Only Eden’. All this, of course came before, and now, following both the name and a personnel change last year, the current line-up consists of Neil Beards (vocals/ acoustic guitar), Al Duncan (bass guitar), Ollie Powditch (keyboards)s, Mark Lasbury (drums) and Paul Wentworth (electric guitar/vocals). The band’s second album ‘Falling Wide Awake’, was recorded at JT Soar, Nottingham by Phil Booth (Sleaford Mods). This gargantuan effort is only eight tracks long but in true ‘proggy’ style as the band confess, it’s a 55-minute, multi- colour trip ranging from proggy psych rock to lockdown ballads to blasts of punk and acoustic blues /electronic wig out. There, I told you so. Plain old psych indeed! What scallies, leading us down the garden path like that. The prog comes from starter ‘Innsbruck’ and last chance saloon ‘Avalanche’, which is the sort of well delivered fayre we have become accustomed to. but here comes the oddity. ‘Strange Caravans’, the lockdown ballad, is hidden in the middle order in the shape of ‘Strange Caravans’, and, featuring Ali Taylor on vocals, is for me one of the tracks of the year. ‘Faith’ is a slight departure for these guys being a faster affair not just in tempo but in timescale too, and there is the opposite end of the scale because before last track ‘Avalanche’ is the 15 minute indulgence and wig out ‘New Year’. All in all, a mammoth offering that will get this superb band some well-earned exposure and propel them to the heights they deserve to be flying at.

Track Listing:-
1 innsbruck
2 station of the cross
3 half light
4 just the rain
5 strange caravans
6 faith
7 new year
8 avalanche

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