Tol-Puddle Martyrs “Under A Cloud” (Secretdeals 2020)
Tol-Puddle Martyrs held the honor of being one of the top bands in and around Bendigo, Victoria, Australia during the sixties. Aside from keeping busy on the gig circuit, the band snagged a regional hit single – “Time Will Come”/”Social Cell” – that is now regarded as a true blue classic far and wide.
About twenty years ago, Tol-Puddle Martyrs reunited and have since released several highly accomplished albums. Lead singer, songwriter and keyboardist Peter Rechter remains the lone original member of the fabled band, while guitarist, bassist and back-up vocalist Graham McCoy (who also played with Pete in the equally legendary Secrets) and drummer Chris Crook complete the crew.
By acknowledging their roots and seasoning these inspirations with fresh energy and astute verse, Tol-Puddle Martyrs bind the past to the present in an age-defying manner. Peter’s catchy and concise vocals – which are posed somewhere between those of John Lennon and Elvis Costello – are ideally suited for the stripe of punctual pop rock the band practices.
Tol-Puddle Martyrs have always been recognized for producing socially-aware sentiments, and their latest album, “Under A Cloud” entails a cluster of numbers addressing the current global crisis. Among these songs are the penetrating bite of “Don’t Rock The Boat” and “Forgotten Years,” which emphasizes the importance of hope and gratitude to a showing of stirring instrumentation and buttery harmonies. A positive attitude further stands tall on the funky fried “Doin’ Alright” and “Something’s Happening” wavers and shimmers with psychedelic-phasing.
Tracks such as “That’s Just How It Goes,” “Mister Sun” and “Tea And Symphony” inject shots of vintage British charm ala the Kinks and the Hollies into sleek and sophisticated Steely Dan styled arrangements. Whether delivering a toe-tapping shuffle or a rhythmic romp, Tol-Puddle Martyrs exhibit their tautly-tuned chops in full force.
Streaked with laser focused hooks, flowing melodies and an electrifying sound altogether, “Under A Cloud” should be aired from coast to coast, country to country and continent to continent. Every song on this album starts with a bang and ends with a bang. Anything by Tol-Puddle Martyrs promises quality and excitement, but if you ask me, “Under A Cloud” serves as their finest hour to date.