The Rails: Cancel the Sun review – A stirring slice of Anglicana

Thu, Aug 22, 2019, 05:00


Cancel the Sun

The Rails

Thirty Tigers


This third album from the husband-and-wife team of James Walbourne and Kami Thompson might surprise some with its muscular British power-pop manners, but the duo have not totally deserted the classic folk-rock influences that dominated their first two albums.

Journalist Michael Hann, cited on the band’s website, suggests that their music could best be described in a term “pinched from an Eliza Carthy album title: Anglicana – music that might originate in America, but is clearly and resolutely English”. Thompson’s parents (Richard and Linda) are also clear influences, while Walbourne’s day job in The Pretenders is mirrored in the washes of jangling electric guitar that colour the 10 tracks. Thompson’s voice suffers in comparison with her parents, but her work with Walbourne, whether sharing lead, harmonising or backing each other up, is both striking and stirring; they make each other sound better.

Producer Stephen Street adds polish and paces the set well, from the pulsating opener Call Me When It All Goes Wrong to the closing late Beatles sound of the title track. In between, the witless Save the Planet is outweighed by the folk-rock joys of Mossy Well, The Inheritance and Something Is Slipping My Mind.