The debut release of Gentle Thunder. This is the kind of sound that incubates in rehearsals and sound-checks for years. Steadily building until it becomes sentient, buys its own guitar and starts a solo tour Europe, or: it produces a singer-songwriter who has the patience and, most of all, the confidence to take things slow and steady, Chris Rooney. The result is a two-track slow-burner showing that Rooney can build his emotionally-powerful charge across any tempo, any timbre.
Odd timbres and growling electronic textures act as the sonic tags that emphasize Rooney’s deepening maturity as songwriter. At just over three minutes long, Gentle Thunder quickly becomes a journey across a dimly-lit landscape, through the sonic fallout of the instrumental and the singer’s aching-Americana style howls.
It’s in the introduction of new electronic textures, odd timbres that allows Chris Rooney to give us singer-songwriter folk at its most dream-inducing. With the following track Mercury instrumentals stay metallic and loose, a reminder of the Blues sensibilities that saw Rooney’s previous outfit Paper Dogs clinch Sunflowerfest’s Roots battle-of-the-bands last year.
The second track of the release articulates Van Zant-style croons over fuzz, while the introduction of an acoustic kit keeps the wheels turning. We’re given folk throwback to the nomadic, post-Hendrix bell-tone blues that ends up in a fantastic heap of vintage keys and a serrated solo that ricochets off the walls – the kind of solo that leaves you mortally wounded and, in the case, wanting more. With this release, one listen just isn’t enough.