Review of Polly And The Billets Doux's album Fiction, Half-Truths And Downright Lies released through Bleak Mouse.
Fiction, Half-Truths And Downright Lies is the debut full length album for UK country-rock four piece Polly And The Billets Doux. It is an eclectic album of beautifully layered music with strong vocal harmonies.
The standout track is also the opener, foot-stomper Follow My Feet. The brilliant bluesy guitar intro and the call - echo vocals have immediate impact and are a perfect introduction to the band's sound. To Be A Fighter follows a similar vein and the harmonica on The Cut And The Lip draws out that country sound. Polly Penny's smoky vocals and the pretty harmonies add depth of the sound.
Musically Polly And The Billets Doux produce a seductive blend of blues, jazz and southern American tinged folk-country. All accomplished musicians, their instruments produce a brilliantly layered sound. The staple of acoustic bass, acoustic and electric guitar and percussion is peppered with piano, organ and harmonica to create their diverse sound. And they do chop and change a bit; Charmed for example, is a much more jazz inspired song and doesn't work quite so well.
Although hailing from Winchester, this band manages to perfect the southern country Americana style without sounding clichÃ©d or try-hard. Perhaps it's the distinctly British twist that comes across in their songs? This is definitely the genre they should stick to. The light production of the record results in a rough and raw finished product that suits their sound well. In fact it almost sounds as if they're playing live in front of you at times.
The album is a strong debut and showcases the talent and depth of the band. However, they would do well to find their identity rather than attempting to bridge a number of genres. That said, if you are looking for that heartfelt warmth of bluesy country-rock, Fiction, Half-Truths And Downright Lies will not disappoint.