There is always an element of fun in being unable to label a record within a genre. And with the debut album of Coolhand, there is fun from beginning to end on this very palatable record.
Luke Bradshaw (Guitars) and Daz Edwards (vocals), a.k.a. Coolhand are excellent musicians and they do not misplace a note on this highly eclectic and well executed album. The Welsh band from Cardiff manage to assemble 12 tracks that travel across the sound of America's West Coast, through tracks like Give Love A Chance, with that irresistible Calypso atmosphere running in the background, Can't Carry On and Pretender Love.
Thanks to the supported of some really talented guest musicians playing on the record, Bradshaw's sometimes robust and dreamy guitar sound and Edwards splendid vocals have the opportunity to stretch their phenomenal music background even further and every track is a sonic surprise every time.
Lyrically, the band show also some very clever ideas, like on the opener Virtual Life, a foot-stomping blues about the concept of how the virtual world of the Internet almost takes over our lives, making truth become fake.
Dead Man's Hand is a wonderful folk/rock tune about the last night of the Wild West legend "Wild" Bill Hickok's life, penned by an excellent solo of Bradshaw's guitar and a splendid contribute on Piano and Hammond by Gareth Kedward.
J&J is the perfect closure to Coolhand's debut album. The instrumental, played solely by Bradshaw on guitar, carries echoes of Ry Cooder and for few minutes, the green land of Wales becomes a slice of Texan desert, through the beautiful harmonies created by Luke Bradshaw's guitar.
A solid debut for a band that has certainly got a lot of creativity, skills and a deep understanding of music of many different genres. A promise of even more beautiful records to come. Cool on so many levels.
Giovanni "Gio" Pilato
Coolhand can be purchased on the band's website Coolhand