THE TANGENT – Songs From The Hard Shoulder [Digipak +1] (2022)

THE TANGENT - Songs From The Hard Shoulder (2022) full

In the twentieth year of the band’s existence, THE TANGENT are about to release their 12th studio album, ”Songs From The Hard Shoulder”. This album sees The Tangent focusing almost entirely on their long format songs or “epics” with only one song being less than 16 minutes long.
A very mature sounding record, the band have audibly focused on the compositional structure of this album which in the case of the three long pieces is also highly complex and “thought out”. From a luscious and uplifting song about loneliness in Covid-19 lockdown, to a full on 17-minute long fusion composition, to a darkly electronic story of a homeless woman.
The album’s final track is the 4 minute bouncy track “Wasted Soul”, where the band anticipate a wonderful day in the future when the pandemic is over forever.

Opener ‘The Changes’ uses a mini story about The Tangekanic band in Germany trying to find a hotel after a gig they didn’t get paid for – after a week of rehearsal and a journey of about 900 miles as a focus. It’s almost a metaphor for all the lockdowns that the world had to suffer and all the isolation and uncertainty that everyone was feeling. The thing about this fantastic song is that it uses that background as a positive metaphor.
Trust me, this upbeat and quite wondrous song will leave you smiling as it uses a huge dose of The Tangent’s positive mental attitude to deliver seventeen minutes of buoyant optimism that’s all wrapped up with Andy’s astute lyrics and a band on top form. The music is an utter delight and fits the theme and mood perfectly.

Highly influenced by artists from the 70s, ‘GPS Vultures’ is another in the series of outstanding The Tangent instrumentals. A long instrumental piece has to be really good and pretty ingenious to hold the listener’s attention throughout the track and it comes as no surprise to find that this particular song is clever and inventive enough to keep you entertained from start to finish.

‘The Lady Ties To A Lamp Post’ is a very sobering piece that returns to the theme of homelessness that Andy explored from a very short personal experience of past. Andy treats the subject in a very sympathetic manner and, once again, the lyrics and fantastic music impress. I don’t know how they manage to do it but every note in this twenty minute song has its place, there is nothing superfluous and Andy’s vocal delivery, along with the intricate musicianship, is just right for this sobering tale.

The one short track on the album is the utterly sublime, the totally funky ‘Wasted Soul’ and shows that, while The Tangent do the long form epic to perfection, the band can still rock with the best when it comes to catchy shorter songs too.
Harmonised vocals, hammond organs galore and a brass section to die for, this song is like a total beacon of light and will have you rocking.

Early editions of the album and the Vinyl Edition will include the bonus track ‘In The Dead Of Night’ which is, of course, a cover version of the classic song by UK and the band give it a little dose of The Tangent magic to deliver a track that sounds as if it could have been written by them in the first place. A particular highlight is Luke’s ever impressive guitar playing and here he just seems to have been given free rein to deliver a lengthy solo that has you nodding furiously in appreciation.

‘Songs From The Hard Shoulder’ is just a wonderful piece of work, The Tangent at their brilliant best.
People need some cheer in the world and music has the power to lift people, after just one listen to this amazing album I was smiling again. Andy and the band could just have released their most important record yet…
Highly Recommended


1 The Changes
2 The GPS Vultures
3 The Lady Tied To The Lamp Post
4 Wasted Soul
5 In the Dead of Night / Tangential Aura / Reprise [Bonus Track]

Andy Tillison (Vocal/Keyboards)
Jonas Reingold (Bass)
Luke Machin (Guitar/Vocals)
Steve Roberts (Drums)
Theo Travis (Sax & Flute)


Pre order:

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. bradipo says:

    Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.