Abbe May

Design Desire

Written by: TL on 13/11/2011 16:24:21

Right, after a series of reviews from my hand featuring bands that I've all been familiar with in advance, it's time for me to venture out of my comfort zone again for a bit. My first little 'trip' goes to Perth, Australia where singer/guitarist Abbe May and her supporting trio of helpers are making noise with "Design Desire", the first album released solely under the main-woman's own name. Her promotional material claims that she is "set to destroy the entire rock world", yet it I would initially hesitate somewhat before going there, seeing as May's back-to-basics, bluesy approach to rock'n'roll, all full of dirty riffs and sweaty grooves, aligns quite nicely with bands like The Kills and The White Stripes.

Surprisingly however, the album is very good at what it does, especially coming from an artist whom I bet few have heard about yet, with feelings of veteran class dripping from its seams, cementing that it certainly is too good to be considered just a poor man's version of the more established similar acts. For that, May rocks too confidently, both in her dark, reverb'ed vocals and in her crunchy, threatening riffage, and moreover, you occasionally get what seems a taste of dusty Australian highways, which is very reminiscent of the taste of American highways you might have had listening to Queens Of The Stone Age.

So, to be clear, imagine minimalistic, crunchy instrumentals mixing elements from The Kills, The White Stripes and Queens Of The Stone Age, topped with vocals that sound like a mix of Alison Mosshart (VV from The Kills) and PJ Harvey. A sound like that is good for at least a couple of hits on an album like this, and those are delivered in the intimidating "You Could Be Mine", the trippy "Cast That Devil Out" and the drawn out "Feeling Like A Man, Looking Like A Woman". Meanwhile, May also really get to show the versatility of her voice when emphasis is moved away from the guitar on quieter tracks like "No Sleep Tonight" and "Blood River".

Overall, "Design Desire" is the kind of rock solid record and artist can proudly put out, knowing that it legitimates a step up to contention in the desired genre. It has that level of identity, confidence and expertise (here both in terms of playing and production). Will it "destroy the entire rock world"? I think not. For that it feels too much like a throwback sound than a bursting revolution. But then, failure to deliver on such hyperbole really just means that some fellow journalist should probably try to contain his/her excitement a bit. It certainly doesn't detract from "Design Desire" being a pretty good record, which should certainly be a must-hear for devout fans of especially the two first bands metioned in the "For The Fans Of" section below.


Download: You Could Be Mine; Cast That Devil Out; Feeling Like A Man; Looking Like A Woman
For The Fans Of: The Kills, The White Stripes, PJ Harvey, Queens Of The Stone Age

Release Date 08.07.2011
Source Music

Design Desire - Abbe May by sgcmedia

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