It might have been written by a very good friend of mine, but I didn’t know he was going to write it, or even that he’d started his (rather good) blog.
(Interestingly Pete singles out Lines Overheard At A Séance for special mention, a song that I included as an after-thought to get the numbers up. I mean, I’m very proud of the song, it’s one of my favourites, but it almost wasn’t on there…)
Spinning The Compass is almost a metal album. All Tom would need to do is swap acoustic for electric guitar and the keyboard parts for more electric guitars and he’d be there. The fact that it’s not a metal album does allow the songcraft to shine, though, and it’s a treat to hear such deft fretwork without layers of distortion.
Tom’s dedication to theory means these songs are often almost too clever for their own good; he likes time signatures, and don’t get him started on the lydian mode. However, the unexpected quirks and lunges in strange directions never get in the way of a melody or a strong chorus, particularly on the excellent title song and the opener, Mechanism. Buzzing at the centre of this album is Lines Overheard At A Séance, all fuzzy keys and crackling drums. It’s a dark and hypnotic piece,easily one of the best things I think Tom has recorded.