FEDERAL CHARM – Passengers

FEDERAL CHARM - Passengers
  • 8/10
    FEDERAL CHARM - Passengers - 8/10


Wire-Sound Records / Cargo Records UK
Release date: September 14, 2018

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Rival Sons released a new single on the same day as the new Federal Charm album Passenger, and one could slip the Sons’ track somewhere in the running order of the full-length and the casual listener might not grok that a cuckoo slipped into federal Charm’s nest. Federal Charm’s sound—and the visceral feel and mood of that sound–so closely resemble the Hard Psychedelia-inflected Blues of Rival Sons, especially with the addition of new vocalist Tom Guyer, that it is almost uncanny. This resemblance might serve as an indictment of a lesser band, but Federal Charm inures themselves against accusations of being a clone or derivative from the simple strength of their songwriting and performances-they start strong with “Swing Sinner” and never really let up.

There’s a great deal of hot emotion expressed through their lyrics; on this album several songs are about love gone wrong and others about the world changing, and not for the better. The restrained fury of the words contrasted with the cool musical stylings gives the music an “Angry Blues” edge that works especially well on songs like “Death Rattle” one of the most interesting new songs you will hear this year. A song about changing urban landscapes, it ends with a minute-long instrumental meditation that moves seamlessly into the equally good “Nowhere Is Home”, the lyrics of which reflect the very rootlessness evoked in the preceding song. The eleven tracks on Passenger are all full of feeling and invention and Federal Charm succeeds purely on their own merits, whatever sonic similarity they may have with their contemporaries and antecedents.



  • Daniel Waters

    Daniel was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. Iron Maiden’s Piece Of Mind wasn’t the first Metal album he owned, but it was the one that lifted the lid off his soul when he received the record as a gift on his 15th birthday. He's been a Metal fan ever since. He's probably best known as the author of various Young Adult novels such as the Generation Dead series and the ghost story Break My Heart 1,000 Times, now also a major motion picture entitled I Still See You, starring Bella Thorne. Writing and music, especially Heavy Metal music, has always been inextricably linked in his mind and career. His first paid gig doing any type of writing was for Cemetery Dance, where he wrote a horror-themed music column called Dead Beats, and when he was writing the first Generation Dead novel he had a ritual where he started his writing day with a Metal playlist that kicked off with “Crushing Belial” by Shadows Fall.

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