The attraction of doing a stripped down, laid back acoustic EP must be slightly diminished by the fact that every bugger does one… Well either that or an “off the wall” covers EP (most of which are, at best, mixed)
Well a few short years after the Little Angels unexpected but welcome none the less return to the scene frontman Toby Jepson has taken some time off from whatever it is he does these days and the result is Raising my own hell, a 6 track “acoustic” EP which allows him to indulge his softer side, although if you think acoustic is one man and a guitar then think again, there are quiet introspective moments here but it’s far from single-paced as things ramp up in places and really let rip.
The titular opening track sets out where Toby is in 2014, and that’s the theme that emerges through these six tracks. Although he may never have been destined for the computer salesman or “would you like fries with that” post rock-god career that awaited many of his mid 80-s Edinburgh Venue performing contemporaries I don’t think many of us (or indeed them) expected a resurgent touring-and-playing-download-festival return for the Little Angels and a well deserved return to prominence for one of the UKs finest songwriters.
And these Acoustic EPs stand or fall on the songwriting as much as anything else, and in that Toby is not found wanting, these are as well crafted rock’n’roll songs as you could ever hope to hear. Displaying a lyrical dexterity that many of his peers would kill for, He pours heart, soul and, on occasion, assorted viscera into this EP as he shows his own individual style, unconstrained by the inevitable ties of his LA “day job”. The result is a work that is clearly very personal and heartfelt.
Fans of Little Angels will, of course, love this and if you like your rock with real passion and melody then I think you will too.