Fourth Son South – Machine EP
Release Date: 21/01/22
Running Time: 16:55
Review by Simon Black
Fourth Son South is the brainchild of Dutch singer/guitarist Peter Toussaint, although the band themselves hail from Pretoria in South Africa. Musically this is firmly coming from a solid Rock with a hint of the old Blues tradition, but with plenty of mood and attitude, plus a subtle but effective tinge of heaviness. All of the players are experienced older hands though, despite this project being relatively nascent and this really shows in the song writing quality, highlighting an intuitive fluidity in their interplay. That’s really important, as this feels like a really down, dirty and honest rocking band, not a project for an established front man.
‘Hold On’ is the only song on here that’s had a previous outing, having been released as a single mid-2021, and getting a remix and deep polish for this package. The remix is notably different in sound and tone than the newer material, sounding much more studio burnished in contrast to the much rougher and ready newer songs. Both production styles work well, but to be honest I’m much preferring the slightly looser and rougher round the edges sound of the later songs than the honed and polished single remix, as they work much better with Toussaint’s gruff vocal style.
Nothing throws this more into contrast than when he’s dueting with Melissa Osbourne on the closer ‘Tomorrow’s Better’. In terms of song-writing this is one of the best phrased pieces on here, but when they are harmonising it doesn’t quite pull it off because the contrast in their ranges and styles is so vast, but at the same time the slightly dangerous edginess that this brings also makes the song stand out for sheer authenticity. It’s this kind of contradiction that flows throughout the EP, making it feel fresh and real, so I’m all for them sticking to the warts and all approach, rather than try and add inauthentic gloss through over production.
It’s raw, it’s edgy and it’s a very promising start.
01. Not A Machine
02. Power To The People
03. Hold On
04. Sea of Life
05. Tomorrows Better
Franco Jamneck – Bass Guitar & Backing Vocals
Dale McHardy – Rhythm Guitar
Peter Toussaint – Lead Vocals & Lead Guitar
Carel Viljoen – Drums & Backing Vocals
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