For some reason, Terrorvision have never been a particularly cool band to like, although, it has to be said, “Tequila” did make them flavour of the month for a short while. However, from the moment I heard “Pretend Best Friend” and “Oblivion” back when I worked in a record shop in 1994, I was hooked on the Yorkshire band’s material and have followed their career ever since, quietly resenting and trying to educate the people who seemed to think that the band’s quasi-novelty hit was the only thing they’d ever really done. When I happened to stumble on Tony Wright’s PledgeMusic solo album project, helping that happen was something I definitely wanted to get on board with. I’ve had “Thoughts ‘n’ All” for a few months now, have had plenty of time to get to know it and it’s a rather fine acoustic album from Tony and Milly (Milton Evans, also of Terrorvision). I have to confess that I wasn’t sure just how much Tony’s material and voice would suit an acoustic-based record, but it instantly won me over. This is a collection of well-written, likeable, lovingly performed songs which have many characteristics of Terrorvision’s work, but with a greater subtlety and finesse.
The album kicks off with the very decent autobiographical “Self Portrait” which sees Tony taking a bit of a critical look in the mirror, followed by the tender “Love Hold On” relating the often told story of one person loving the other when the feeling is no longer mutual. “You Changed”, with a nice bit of slide guitar, continues the subject where the previous song left off and it’s most definitely something that many listeners will be able to relate to. “Little Things” is a fairly pleasant song, but, if I’m honest, the lyrics in the chorus could have been slightly better. The first truly great song of the album is “Great Horton”, describing a typical night out in a suburb of Bradford, including drinking, covers bands, pool, club and curry; seriously, it’s worth the price of the album alone. “Shallow Pool” has some great lyrics and an excellent light and shade character to the verse and chorus, whereas the mellow “Roll Over” is probably the most catchy, instantly likeable piece on the whole record. “Do You Love Me” is dramatic, pained, tortured and utterly brilliant, “Gunner Getchta” almost sounds like Terrorvision unplugged and would really benefit from the band’s rock treatment, although it does boast a rather fine Spanish guitar solo, and final song “All Of My Love” is a passionate piece featuring some excellent acoustic guitar work. All-in-all, a gratifying forty minutes worth of music.
I don’t think that many people who have followed the band over the years will be too surprised by how good “Thoughts ‘n’ All” is and, perhaps, they will be the main audience for this album anyway. However, it would be a crying shame if this album was only listened to by such a limited circle of music lovers; Tony’s début solo effort deserves to be heard by a much wider range of people, as it is a bloody good singer-songwriter album, boasting a high level of musicianship and a great deal of heart. For those not quite sure about the acoustic nature of the release, I would strongly recommend that you leave any of those reservations aside and give it a chance, as many of the elements that make up a classic Terrorvision song are all present and correct here, just in a slightly more refined form. With songs about drinking, nostalgia, love, longing and heartbreak, Tony has released a piece of work that most of his fans will be able to relate to, sing along with and will, most likely, love.
Thoughts ‘n’ All, originally released via the PledgeMusic site is out now on general release, available from amazon.co.uk and other retailers.
Andy Sweeney, 25th November, 2014.