Thursday, 10 June 2010

Sean O'Brien - 'Leaves'

I’ve just received the new single from Sean O’Brien And His Dirty Hands. ‘Leaves’ is a long, beautiful, country-tinged ballad about parting and upheaval; there’s keening pedal steel from Max Butler, and O-Lan Jones and Chris von Sneidern providing vocal support. It’s going to be followed by a new album entitled Future Harvest.

O’Brien is a veteran of the Paisley Underground. He was in Davis in the late 70s, which also spawned the Dream Syndicate, and he played in the origin line-up of True West. Recently he’s put out a couple of cracking solo albums, as well as a career retrospective The Drug Of Memory which does go back all the way to Davis days and The Meantime with Russ Tolman.

The song can be heard on his MySpace. Meanwhile here’s a review of 2008’s Goodbye Game:

"Sean O’Brien was in an early incarnation of True West back in Paisley Underground days. For the last few years he’s been playing around San Francisco and last year released the splendid solo record, Seed of Mayhem. Now with a regular band, he’s wasted little time in getting together another release.

Goodbye Game is a dandy little package with something of an Eastern theme, and contents that roar along very nicely. What’s endearing about O’Brien’s work is his ability to take elements of recognizable influences, such as Nick Lowe, Television and Sgt. Pepper’s-era Beatles but never let them overwhelm. That’s partly down to his rich voice – little like John Cale but not so Welsh – but also to the strength of his songs.

The fine, arresting guitar intro to 'Take Your Pills' makes for a corking start, followed by the raucous ride of 'Warm & Sane' in tribute to Sleater-Kinney. 'Aftermath Fears', in more sedate time, with Julie Wolf’s strident organ, shows his political colors. The keening country song 'All That I Don’t Know' and the wacky skank and dubby vibe of 'Get Over Tunis' show yet more facets. And any record that employs the glorious voice of Chris Von Sneidern should always find favour."