25 Jun 2024
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The Advocators - Album Review: Songs From An Endless Night

14 May 2024 // A review by Daniel Jones

The self-proclaimed hillbillies and misanthropes of Northland, NZ, release their debut album Songs From An Endless Night. On first listen, you could be forgiven into thinking that The Advocators hail from the deep southern US terrains of the Mississippi or grew up playing on the Tennessee bar scene. Leroy Brown and Mark Bruce (The Advocators), based in Maungaturoto, state that, Songs From An Endless Night was recorded between sou-westerly squalls in a shed/studio out the back of Tomarata between “empties” and unrepaired trailers.

The vocal stylings of lead vocalist Leroy Brown, conjure up tones of John Fogerty or Dave Rawlings, with a gritty vibrato, almost like the devil himself is channeling his rapture through Browns’ throat. Browns’ evangelical preacher style vocals, along with his banjo, are accompanied by co-writer Mark Bruce’s beautiful backing vocals, melodica and guitar.

After a subtle intro, Songs From An Endless Night bursts into life with Elijah (single from the album), an upbeat, gritty, gospel, alt-country track with wails of “salvation” and ‘redemption’, before taking things down with an Everly Brothers style ballad Dreams, and Crows which offers a sense of regret and demise with the lyrics “crows pick my bones”. 

The influence of the bygone 50's and 60's bluegrass, is more than prominent throughout the album. Doused with roots country and recurring messages of hope, loss, contempt, redemption and raw emotion. Tracks Waitin’ Around To Die (Townes Van Zandt) and Solitary Man (Neil Diamond) are two cover songs on the album which merge seamlessly into a beautifully constructed work of art, which captures moments of pain and optimism. 

The recordings were supported by William Jackson (bass, drums, producer and engineer), Anita Clark (violin and vocals) and mastered by Chris Chetland of Kog Studio. Songs From An Endless Night, is released on March 8th. Though only The Advocators debut album, there is a lifetime of stories here, exciting to see where this road leads. 

 

About The Advocators

The Advocators is the musical chimera creation of alt-country outsiders Leroy Brown and Mark Bruce.

Leroy and Mark were born and raised in the neighbouring small rural towns of Kaiwaka and Maungaturoto in Northland, New Zealand. The pair have been writing and performing sporadically throughout their lives; Leroy learnt chords as a child out of the back of old Hymn books and Mark picked up the guitar after seeing his mate Billy Aiken shred a Led Zeppelin solo in high school.

Despite attending the same high school, they only started playing music together in 2019 after Leroy recruited Mark for an ambitious wedding band project. That project quickly collapsed as they realised that they could not stay faithful to whatever song they covered, and so they began writing and performing their own songs.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Advocators

Releases

Songs From An Endless Night
Year: 2024
Type: Album

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