Fronted by Chicago based musician, Coley Kennedy, Black Vincent is a seven piece band which includes several members of Coley’s previous bands, Welcome To Ashley and The Buddies. Kennedy is quoted as saying, “I’ve always wanted to make a ‘rainy-night’ album that’s sad without being depressing” and on Teardrop Deluxe he’s tried his best to do this coming on like Richard Hawley with dashes of Roy Orbison thrown in for good measure. Tremeloed guitar and string like keys sweep throughout the album giving it a forlorn and indeed rain swept night time feel but there are also elements reminiscent of Bowie and Scots post punk balladeer Paul Quinn in the way Kennedy uses his voice while the band ramp up the atmosphere adding a fine sense of melodrama. This melodramatic touch reaches its height on the extravagant flourishes of Sad Deep Inside which unfortunately topples over itself in its excitement ending up as merely a cacophony of guitars and voices. More successful is the Bowie like When We Was Young which opens with a melody similar to Space Oddity while Kennedy actually sounds like Bowie circa ’69 and Friends With Motorcycles which does sound like Paul Quinn and Orange Juice goofing around. There’s even a pumped up romp, It’s All Too Much that heads into Iggy Pop territory with a frenzied riff and Iggy like lyrics.
Kennedy’s at his best on the Orbison like heartbreak of Lonely and Blue singing
“I’ll miss you when I wake I’ll miss you in my dreams and in my grave I cannot change my past I cannot change my tune I’m lonely and blue I’m lonely and blue”
as the band lurch gloomily behind him while Stacy Main is another stand out with a similar feel for old times and places to that on Richard Hawley’s Cole’s Corner. The closing song Gone goes for a climatic ending but serves to show that although there’s plenty of promise here Kennedy needs to loosen up somewhat as the song could do with the swing and passion that someone like Raul Malo of the Mavericks would bring to it. Nevertheless, a fine wee album that marks Black Vincent out as ones to watch.