TESS OF THE CIRCLE
“I’M NOT ASHAMED”
Single Review By Rick Tilley
It’s always very difficult reviewing just one song, especially when you’ve heard nothing else by the band in question. More pressure is added when the bands CV/Press Release is littered with no fewer than thirty three quotes from various publications (including BBC Radio 2, The Independent, MOJO, The Telegraph, Classic Rock and Powerplay) telling you how wonderful they are! Tess Of The Circle are that band, and as you can probably tell from the fact they are getting regularly played on BBC Radio 2, they aren’t Metal! What they are is a mix of 70’s , 80’s and 90’s Rock, Indie, perhaps a touch of Brit-Pop and one of my least favourite words ‘Grunge’!
With that in mind you could well ask the question “Why are you reviewing this Rick?” Well, after listening to not only this song but also debut album ‘Amplify’ (2016) as well as their 2013 acoustic rock EP ‘Thorns’ and chatting with main man Tess Jones on Facebook, It’s because they are good! I’m very pleased about that because, in the past, when I’ve received music, accompanied by a huge long list of recommendations from some of the places named above, that music nearly always ends up being pretentious claptrap, masquerading as rock by a band with more contacts in the right places than substance! Tess Of The Circle seem to be a completely different kettle of fish though and actually provide the listener with good, intelligent songs that you can rock out to!
‘I’m Not Ashamed’ is apparently the fourth single released from ‘Amplify’ and whilst I don’t think it’s the best representation of what ‘Tess Of The Circle have done on that album, still provides a good short sharp kick in the teeth and carries a message, which is very apt in these uncertain times, not to stay silent but to stand up and speak your mind! It has also been released to coincide with some upcoming live dates, the awesome Planet Rockstock among them, and I would urge you to check Tess Of The Circle out if you are going! Tess has a great voice and his guitar work alongside that of Lee Clifton is very good!
These guys are certainly not easy to categorise and I could name a huge variety of influences but I would be here all day. From my perspective, the most noticeable are the mighty Led Zeppelin, Jane’s Addiction and Pearl Jam. I can even hear Jethro Tull and Nick Cave. That’s quite a mix but Tess Of The Circle combine all of these sounds very well and could appeal to a huge cross section of music lovers! My score above is purely based on ‘I’m Not Ashamed’ the song and doesn’t accurately reflect my overall thoughts about the band and that’s why I’ve decided to write a review of the ‘Amplify’ album as well. Keep an eye out for that soon!
I’m Not Ashamed
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