ROB LEAR – Motorcycle Heart (Self Released)

Motorcycle HeartOkay, so opening track ‘Grace’ has early REM written all over it, but the biking Welsh singer-songwriter is no slave to influence. His second album, produced by the Grammy nominated Simon Tassano, ranges across the Americana spectrum, ‘Look Me Up’ a catchy chorus folksy sawayalong strum with a hint of accordion, ‘Light Of My Life’ a joyous, uplifting banjo bubbling pop song, while, again featuring Liz Mullens’ accordion, ‘Michael’ is a slow swaying number that puts a Romeo & Juliet spin on ‘Michael, Row The Boat Ashore’.

Lear has clear and sweet tenor vocal with a slight dusty edge coating that (notably on ‘Carry On’) adds a yearning emotional ache, indeed on ‘Strung Out’ you might even detect a touch of Orbison in there, delivering his songs in a relaxed style that’s hard not to warm to, Given his way with easy on the ear melodies and a songwriting versatility that can bring shades of Paul Simon to the jaunty ‘Elfinman’ one moment, set a funky groove to ‘Too Beautiful’ and build a ringing pop punch on the descending chords of ‘Beseeched,’ that, as Bruce might put it, make you want to grab a helmet, put in those leathers and “strap your arms ‘cross his engines” .

Mike Davies

Artist’s website:

‘Light Of My Life’ live under less than ideal circumstances – the electricity had failed. What a trouper: