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Vestiges & Claws - Cover


[one_half last=”yes”]JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ
Vestiges & Claws

Release-Date: 17.02.2015
Label: Peacefrog

01. With The Ink Of A Ghost
02. Let It Carry You
03. Stories We Build, Stories We Tell
04. The Forest
05. Leaf Off / The Cave
06. Every Age
07. What Will
08. Vissel
09. Afterglow
10. Open Book


NBHAP Rating: 3,2/5


New solo effort after more than seven years
JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ became quite a name of good repute during the last ten years. Especially since the birth of his three-piece band JUNIP in 2005 he confirmed his distinct style consisting of soft and slightly distant-sounding vocals and psychedelic but still catchy guitar sounds wrapped in a murky atmosphere. His last solo album, In Our Nature, is more than seven years old and the fans were now craving for a new solo work. And the expectations were high after exposing his strongest songwriting to date with the 2013 self-titled JUNIP album.

Vestiges, ok. But no claws.
What you get is ten pieces of typical JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ, mostly just voice and acoustic guitar, oftentimes with a clear bluesy approach, more rarely with sparse percussion and further instrumentation. GONZÁLEZ produced the record himself, so you have a nice raw and original sound here, allowing you to often hear the strings hum. Also the lyrics again are finely crafted, showing you vestiges of nature’s beauty, society’s failures and interpersonal relationships beyond cheesiness. What this album lacks are the claws. All in all the is not very exciting and if you’re not careful you find yourself drifting away in that warm monotony.

Give it a try
But after all, it’s unmistakably JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ and his guitar. And he knows how to play it. His fingerpicking-style was often compared to the great NICK DRAKE‘s and to some point I can agree with that. He is still miles away from DRAKE‘s lightness and preciseness, but on the previous two solo records GONZÁLEZ had a good feeling for those great imaginative riffs he played over and over again. Unfortunately many riffs on Vestiges & Claws sound pretty much the same. Repetition is a key word on this album, sometimes in a positive way, sometimes in a way that makes you just waiting for more. We suggest you try the first single Every Age, one of the calmest first and afterwards check out the latest single Leaf Off / The Cave, one of the more outgoing tracks and along with the delicate Let It Carry You clearly the best track on the album.

Fans of JUNIP’s latest release should have a listen before buying. Despite some lack of variety the third JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ solo album is a decent and calm record, great to while a bleak Sunday away.