Rebecca Gresty’s Mad at the Seems [sic], is a big debut. The vocals and big band sound are immediately reminiscent of Imelda May but where May is infused with no small dose of cheek, Gresty often plumbs for a more reserved performance.
Album opener ‘Mad at the Seems’ showcases her enviable voice to toe-tapping effect with a jazzy accompaniment that would sit well in a 1950s nightclub before sliding into ‘Leave Me Be’ with its more rock ‘n’ roll sound. Perhaps a symptom of spending life on the road as a touring band, some of the performances have a slightly jaded quality where more emotion is expected, but ultimately the seeds of something good are there.
Standout tracks like ‘Toast’ and ‘Nothing’ show that Gresty can give an emotive performance and ‘Rockin’ Horse’ gives a glimpse of how the band sound when they’re having fun, but the album is confusing in its diversity. Both singer and band seem most comfortable during rock numbers like ‘Alice’ [‘I’m like Alice, send me down the rabbit hole…’ – easily the obvious single release ahead of title track ‘Mad at the Seems’] while tracks like ‘One Famous Night’ don’t seem to fit on the album at all and have a country music quality about the lyrics which is only just redeemed by some electric guitar.
With polished vocal and musical performances there’s no lack of talent here, but Gresty still needs to find her hook. Undoubtedly the goal of any singer-songwriter is a self-penned release but there’s no story here and the lack of common thread to tie the songs together leaves the listener unsatisfied. Still a not-half-bad first offering, if Gresty can find something she really wants to sing about – self-penned or written for her – it would easily sort out the lack of emotion in some of these tracks and she’s got the lungs and the backing band to support anything she tips her hat to.
Mad at the Seems gets its iTunes release on February 29th, in the meantime you can find Rebecca Gresty on Soundcloud.