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Alun Piggins

At War With the Elephants

(Moldy Floor Records; US: 19 Apr 2008; UK: Unavailable)

Former singer for the Morganfields, Alun Piggins, keeps doing what he’s been doing for the last two decades, namely crafting songs that won’t be on radio anytime soon but only because he doesn’t have the huge monolith or corporate bigwigs behind him. Bringing to mind a somewhat more polished Paul Westerberg on the first song “Watching You Glow”, Piggins opts for a well-honed barroom feel on this gem. You’d be hard pressed to know that the same performer is behind the softer, troubadour-like “Beckoning Door”, but he nails this roots-y song perfectly. Want foot-stomping rocker? Than try on “Not Happening” for size which delivers the goods even after dozens of listens. Piggins also knows what works time and time again as is the case with the Petty-leaning, melodic jangle seeping out of “Somewhere on Highway 2”. Throughout it all, Piggins rarely falters, whether on the gorgeous “Under a Neon Moon” that is a shade of rock-meets-Americana. There are several nuggets here, but Piggins outdoes himself with the tender “Empty House” and the fairly self-explanatory “Drunk in America”.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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