Review Archive

‘Last Day On Earth’ – Tom Ovans - one man’s view of his world

(March 18, 2014)

I’ve followed the music of Tom Ovans for many years, from the early-nineties album ‘Industrial Tom Ovans Last Day on EarthDays’ to ‘Dead South’ and ‘The Beat Trade’ to the mid-noughties statement that was ‘Tombstone Boys, Graveyard Girls’ – each one an uncompromising, gritty observation on life as it is lived. Now there’s a double album of his work to savour, ‘Last Day On Earth’. And I’m pleased to tell you, if you liked what went before you’re going to love this.

Another one of those survivors of rough, tough journeys across America, he learned his craft as he learned from life. Tom Ovans writes visceral songs filled with brutal passion, inflamed anger and a fervent refusal to be anything but himself. Across the two CDs of ‘Last Day On Earth’, the man presents the most basic elements of his music, cutting this album on an old TEAC 4-track tape recorder. Built around collections of scattered observations, a myriad of experiences and influences, recollections and instances culled from varied times and places, ‘Last Day On Earth’ is a necessary testament to one man’s view of his world.

Tom possess a voice that takes his songs to the deep seated places few investigate yet many wonder about. This album is relentless. The engine never eases, the fire never fades. It pounds on your soul with the ruthless power of a jack hammer – ‘Poor Boy Blues’ to ‘Last Day On Earth’, ‘Sleeping With The Boss’ or ‘Ramblin’ Jack’, ‘Drink And A Car’ and ‘Tears Of Love’ – all tales needing to be told.

Reviewer: Tom Franks

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