The Advocators – Songs From A Sleepless Night (Self) (Album Review)

Here’s one that will keep you up at night. The Advocators are a NZ-based duo who make unhinged, raw rock and blues and their debut album is Songs From An Endless Night.

AdvocatorsThe band, such as it is, is Maungaturoto-based (bad bad) Leroy Brown who sings lead and plays guitar, banjo and harmonica. His compadre in crime is Mark Bruce who plays guitar, melodica and adds the occasional BVs.

The sound they make might be what may have happened if the late, great Duane Eddy joined Southern Culture On The Skids. Its best described as trashy, sleazy, dirty and greasy…with plenty of twang.

They are aided and abetted by two ringers…producer (and drummer) William Jackson, whose shed they recorded this album in, and…surprise surprise…Anita Clark, aka Motte, who has previously collaborated with the likes of Nadia Reid, Delaney Davidson and The Phoenix Foundation. Her fiddle playing on this album is quite unlike anything I’ve heard her play before.

The album itself begins with a brief, Duane Eddy-style instrumental before Elijah, one of the record’s four singles, comes crashing in. Brown’s vocals are completely over-the-top, giving the track a feeling of barely-reined-in sanity.   And Anita’s fiddle goes in unexpected places, keeping the listener on edge.

The Advocators seem to be advocates of 50s-style doo wop as tracks like Dreams, Everchanging Sea and Maybe sound like they might have been originally recorded by The Platters after dropping acid.

Lyrically most of the tunes are written about unsavoury relationships, cheatin’, lyin’ and the such. The record could easily be subtitled, “more good songs about bad woman”.

Mind you, I’m sure these guys are no angels, but they sure can make a cool racket. And their cover of Townes Van Zandt’s Waitin’ Around To Die, puts the nail in the coffin. Their version of Neil Diamond’s Solitary Man is worth a few spins as well.

I do hope these folks take their show on the road, I’d love to see and hear them live, especially if they bring Motte along.

Marty Duda

Songs From An Endless Night is released Wednesday, May 15th.

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