Album Review: Tony Wright – “Thoughts ‘n’ All”
It’s all been a bit quiet with Tony Wright of late. With both of his bands, Terrorvision and Laika Dog, seemingly on hiatus at present, he’s decided to launch a third musical venture in the form of a solo album via Pledgemusic.
It’s safe to say that Tony’s two bands are very different propositions, so the big question is whether Thoughts ‘n’ All will lean more towards the bouncy pop-metal of Terrorvision, or the more downbeat alt-rock musings of Laika Dog. The answer is that it’s somewhere in the middle. Lyrically, a lot of the songs here are quite downbeat, but overall the album definitely feels a bit more accessible than Laika Dog generally are.
The opener Self Portrait (Rock-a-Boogie Merchant) sets the tone for the 40 minutes to follow, with its downbeat tale of a once-famous musician taking his sorrows out on the bottle (“The last time that I saw the charts/Was when I was at the doctor’s and he was looking at my heart”). Similarly the warts ‘n’ all tale of nights out in Bradford that is Great Horton (which also namechecks fellow Bradfordians New Model Army and Paradise Lost), the Sunday drinking lament Shallow Pool (Train Wreck) and the countrified couple trouble tales of Little Things are downbeat, but down to earth and with enough hummability to keep them listenable.
There’s a few hidden tricks in there as well, such as the way that Do You Love Me? slows down the riff to Paint It Black, before kicking in with a tale of devotion which is balanced out by the sinister stalker-ish Gunner Getcha which follows it, or the hypnotic seven-minute epic Roll Over which shimmers through on a hypnotic hazy riff. It’s these little things which keep Thoughts ‘n’ All interesting and make it a worthwhile listen.
Despite the slightly downbeat nature of the songs, there's something reassuring about this album. Rather like Tony himself, it's down to earth, unpretentious and easy to get on with. It does show off the more serious side of Tony's repertoire but it does so in a way that's easily accessible and with a few earworms thrown in to keep you whistling to yourself afterwards. Don't expect Perseverance Mk2, but if some good reflective acoustic music with a bit of a kick to it is what interests you, then this should do you just fine.