JD McPherson - Signs & Signifiers (Hi-Style Records)
JD McPherson's debut long-player, "Signs & Signifiers", is a proper old school rock `n' roll record, lovingly produced by Jimmy Sutton (Mighty Blue Kings, Four Charms, Del Moroccos), and recorded directly onto an antique 1960's Berlant ¼ inch tape machine. That dedication to detail reminds me of The La's Lee Mavers, who had to abandon recording a follow up to their much-acclaimed debut because he couldn't find authentic `60s dust to coat his old Vox amps. Hopefully McPherson wont be quite so obsessive, as I'm already a little over-excited thinking about his next record.
Raw and rockin', "Signs & Signifiers" is a perfect 35 minute album. Twelve tracks in all, ten of them written or co-written by McPherson, and not a slither of filler to be found. Opening cut, "North Side Gal", rattles along at a fine tempo, and features the first of many saxophone solos (courtesy of Jonathan Doyle and Josh Bell), which gives way to rough `n' ready version of Tiny Kennedy's "Country Boy", which is almost as good as the original. "Fire Bug" wouldn't sound out of place on a Tarantino soundtrack and "A Gentle Awakening" with its string arrangements, sorrowful soul vocal and measured pace provides genuine depth to a collection that'll surely appeal to old rockers, Wayne Hancock worshipers, bereaved Cramps fans and anyone who was impressed with last years Nick Curran record. 9/10.