‘Ruthless Thing' by Tom Mitchell(February 06, 2013)
There’s an confident freshness to Tom Mitchell’s music that I find engaging and the EP ‘Ruthless Thing’ proves the point. Sure it’s the familiar ‘man with a guitar’ (of which there are many fine exponents of the style – and here’s another) but there’s an edge to both voice and guitar that makes Tom Mitchell worth a listen. The vocals could come across as slightly frail at first but that impression soon vanishes – and there’s some genuine musical muscle at work behind the deceptively slight voice. And it’s true to say that the voice fits the songs to a tee. The man writes a sharply observant song backed with lyrical vigilance and punchy guitar.
As well as the title track ‘Ruthless Thing’ with its less than acquiescent tale of failure, the EP includes the well-delivered observations and considerable lyrical dexterity of ‘Hammock’, the harder and somewhat bitter remonstrations of ‘From Experience’ completewith insistent guitar cuts and the real-world reality check in ‘He Forgot to Check his Heart in at The Door’.
There’s always a place in acoustic music for a ‘man with a guitar’ - especially when the artist understands his music. It’s often down to that awareness plus the dual standard of simplicity and individuality that attracts - and Tom Mitchell delivers on all counts.
You can find ‘Ruthless Thing’ on Tom’s website: tommitchellmusic and on his Bandcamp page.
Reviewer: Tim Carroll