Reviews – Roscoe James Irwin Wasted (2013 EP)

This review was published on the AU review on 28/11/2013 and can be viewed here.

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Following last year’s release of debut album Hunting Road, lesser-known The Cat Empire member, Roscoe James Irwin, has released Wasted, a four-track EP featuring uplifting musical gems.

Additional to trumpeting around the world with the Cat’s in the ‘Empire Horns’ section, Irwin performs solo shows as a singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter and has toured and recorded with some of Australia’s top musicians including Angus and Julia Stone, Josh Pyke, Paul Kelly, Tin Pan Orange and Washington. Irwin is also an honorary band member of The Bamboos.

Album producer, John Castle (drums/bass/guitar) and Ben Edgar (Acoustic/Lapsteel/Baritone Guitars) round up the band; additional artists stepped in for individual tracks.

Introduced with repetitive simple acoustic guitar riffs and violin, album opener “Wasted” is poppy and melodic. The guitar part has a reminiscent feel to it of Green Day’s millennium track, “Macy’s Day Parade.”

Following on is “One Eye Open”. Its sing-along lyrics are joined by an upbeat and organised mash up of keyboard, electric guitar, drums, violin, cello, viola and hand claps.

“(Little Miss) Bright Eyes” is ambitious and orchestral and album closer, “Knew You Well” has you joining in with the whistler on the track.

Released in late September 2013, the EP took 18 months to produce. In an interview with the AU review in September, Irwin said the release took a lengthy time to produce and release, as the original plan was to release a full-length album. Instead he opted to release three separate EPs. The next one is set for release next February, with the third and final EP to be released in August. A sophomore LP will see the light of day in February 2015.

Local artist Kate Moon will produce the artwork for the current and forthcoming releases, a steam punk themed comic book and collaborate with a 3D animator for the film clips.

Overall, Irwin’s tracks have been arranged beautifully and his vocals are flawlessly melodic and mesmerising. Upon listening to the EP you instantly feel soothed, elated and relaxed.

Review Score: 9.0 out of 10

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