MALONE SIBUN – Come Together (2020)
Two years ago UK based, Detroit-born soulful blues-rock star Marcus Malone joined explosive British blues rock guitarist Innes Sibun for a handful of shows. Both musicians had just enjoyed the busiest 12 months of their careers and then band MALONE SIBUN born.
Properly titled “Come Together“, their debut album delivers a fantastic collection of songs harking back to the likes of CREAM, early WHITESNAKE and BAD COMPANY, etc.
“Come Together” often feels like some long-lost relic from the Seventies, thanks in part to the wonderfully organic production job from the pair, which gives the album a warm feeling that is often lost in modern recordings.
Opening with the title track, Malone Sibun get straight down to business with layered vocals leading the way into a Bad Company-esque rocker, Innes’ tough riff rubbing up against Roger Iniss’ throbbing bass as Marcus recalls the power of Paul Rodgers in his pomp.
Second track ‘Let Me Love You’ will have you checking the liner notes just to be sure that David Coverdale isn’t guesting on the record. As a song that focuses on lust rather than love, the parallel is surely not lost on Marcus, who allows a touch of the Coverdale gravel to seep into his voice as the band (especially Chris Nugent on drums) whip up a storm behind him.
A sweeter blues, ‘I want You Back’ is a highlight with its gospel-flavored backing vocals (Chantelle Duncan) and stunning lead work from Innes, who excels to such an extent that the band drop in a surprise reprise to give him more space with which to work.
An interesting track, ‘Taste Of Your Love’ neatly wrongfoots the listener, emerging as a tender ballad, all acoustic instrumentation before suddenly exploding into life, mixing touches of Zeppelin, ‘Snake and Black Crowes into a heady, psychedelic stew with sparkling solos, layered vocals and slide guitar all thrown into the mix with gleeful abandon.
The first half of the album kicks back with some old-school, toe-tapping rock ‘n’ roll on Jodie, which feels like one of those Keith Richards-led tracks that pops up on most Rolling Stones albums, thanks to a hot-wired riff and a gritty vocal.
Opening up the second half of the record, ‘I’m So Tired Of Living’ is a tasteful slow blues. As the band mention in the liner notes, every blues album has to have one, and Malone Sibun are not about to buck the trend. With some gorgeous soloing and a restrained vocal performance from Marcus, it’s a perfect mid-set number that should see lighters raised aloft across the venue, and the guitar work is sublime throughout.
A tougher beat emerges on ‘Lovelight’, the sort of hard rocking blues that AC/DC love to indulge in, sweetened by the backing vocals just a touch, and it’s one of those tracks that just sounds like it was a blast to record.
Maintaining the pace, ‘She’s My Girl’ is another firecracker that sounds like it should be a single, with its sparkling slide and taut beat. The ramshackle charm of a countrified ‘Rabbit Hole’, all slide guitar and Americana, stands out from the pack, not least because it was not originally written for the album, although it’s hard to imagine any other band recording it, such is the gust with which they have at it.
Making a plea for love an peace, ‘Everyday’s A Miracle’ is the musical sibling of album opener, Come Together, and it caps the record off perfectly. A sweetly soulful song to bring the album to a close, this is one of those finale’s that just perfectly slots into place and it’s so warm that it has you reaching for the remote to kick the album off again.
”Come Together” is a thrilling, ten-track / no filler album that takes in a range of influences and makes them its own.
From the Bad-Company-rock of the opener and the Coverdale-isms of ‘Let Me Love You’, via the stunning progressions of ‘Taste Of Your Love’ and the inevitable touch of the Stones on ‘Jodie’, this fantastic classic rock album feels like an homage to the blues-rock as a whole, and it’s played with such energy, that it flies by in what feels like a matter of moments.
01 – Come Together
02 – Let Me Love You
03 – I Want You Back
04 – Taste of Your Love
05 – Jodie
06 – So Tired of Living
07 – Love Light
08 – She’s My Girl
09 – Rabbit Hole
10 – Everyday’s a Miracle
Marcus Malone – vocals, guitar
Innes Sibun – guitars, slide, mandolin
Roger Iniss – bass
Chris Nugent – drums
Chantelle Duncan – backing vocals
Moz Gamble, Stevie Watts – keyboards, Hammond