On Fire, the debut album release from Tom The Suit Forst, is a confident and classic sounding collection of melodically heavy blues rock and roll.
The Wolf’s At The Door is a superb opening track. The sound is stylish, organic, crisp and charismatic. The melody is simple yet effective; Forst’s leading vocal performance drives the sound into your mind with brilliant energy and passion, and the riffs that accompany and enhance the sound are consistently strong. The blues rock edge is almighty, undeniable, and skillfully portrayed, so as to satisfy the needs of real and retro rock and roll fans the world over.
It’s often enough for some bands and artists to be able to play an instrument and sing a little, but in reality, much more is needed to put forth a full length album that captivates and entertains an audience from start to finish. This comes down to the energy, the musicianship, and perhaps most of all – the songwriting. As you move into track two, Play Like The King, the eclectic nature of the artist’s songwriting is already clear, and both tracks have immediately presented listeners with addictive melodies, clever and unusual hooks, and stunning guitar solos. Play Like The King is lyrically sublime, quirky, intriguing, and always interesting. The storytelling is on point, and fortunately, the music and the vocal performance surrounding this is so consistently soulful and passionate and relevant, that it all makes for a flawless yet gorgeously raw moment of blues rock bliss.
Going Home takes you even further into the soul of the sound, and indeed, into the mind of the artist. The music is stripped back, minimal, beautiful, the leading voice right there next to you – up close and personal, as this image heavy story unfolds in the most gripping and wonderfully expressive way. The harmonious hook in this case contrasts incredibly well with the story line of the verses. The song has the feeling of being a folk-rock and blues fusion that would most probably hit the spot with superb accuracy at a live show. It’s an absolute highlight of the album, and at such an early point in the collection, it gives you a decent amount of certainty that this is going to be something special. Check out the video for this one at the bottom of the feature.
There are many rock albums put out each year, each month even, there’s even a fair bit of decent modern blues available from time to time, but the reality is that to offer audiences real blues rock, real feeling, real creative freedom – the love of music has to be inherent. Nothing can be forced; you can’t fake rock or blues, you can’t fake musical talent or passion. You can try, but people aren’t likely to fall for it. Tom The Suit Forst brings all of these things together for this debut release, and at 65 years of age, he’s unquestionably an example of artistry coming straight from the heart and the soul. The music is real. It hits you just where you need it.
As you progress through the album, tracks like She Was Right and Unfaithfully Yours quite simply soak you in authentic rock and roll rhythms and riffs. Walk Away brings a more mellow blues rock beat and melody to the front line, a good point at which to mention the lyrical openness and honesty in Tom The Suit’s writing. Once again, nothing is forced; the lyrics fit with the music, they sound believable, real, and furthermore often feature numerous moments of unique poetry and perspective. However, even with this personal touch, this character embedded throughout, the music has a comforting effect. It feels like something we can all relate to, it has that confident warmth that you can always put your trust in, and yet at any moment you could focus in on those verse lyrics and realise how unusual and new they really are. Women Of The World reinforces this idea further.
Women Of the World brings a little bit of gospel-tinted soul and fuses it with the classic blues rock sound of Tom The Suit Forst’s songwriting. The music has a reflective and relevant output here, the lyrics include and involve you as you listen, and the ideas are bold, honest, and striking – as are the melodies, which is always the case throughout the songs on this album. There’s never a moment of mediocre melody, nor mediocre anything in fact. This song is a beautiful moment; it stands out, in many ways, from the rest of the collection, perhaps suggesting it’s individual importance to the artist, an issue particularly close to his heart. It works well.
Consolation Man is rather stunning as a penultimate track. The slick and seductive guitar riff gives off an easy going vibe that calms and captivates. The artist’s stripped back vocal performance brings a light melody and a simple set of notable lyrics, and altogether it leaves you with a very classic, nostalgic bit of soft rock and blues, perhaps even tentatively touched by a brief moment of jazz. The melody lingers in your mind a fair while after listening.
Then you get to the final few minutes of music, and the artist’s wonderfully personal yet classic rock and blues take on I Heard it Through The Grapevine sinks it’s melodic teeth firmly in and leaves you feeling pretty incredible. On Fire is a collection of absolute hits, by all accounts. The artist’s musical passion and experience have lead him to complete and release something that is of the utmost highest quality, with not a sliver of dishonesty or filler in sight. Well worth a listen four or five times over the weekend, or perhaps on a long drive through the countryside. Turn it up loud.
The 11 song album was produced by Grammy Award-winner Paul Nelson, side-man guitarist for the late Johnny Winter. The project is scheduled for release in January 2017. Find and follow Tom The Suit Forst on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Soundcloud. Visit the artist’s Website for more music and info.