ALBUM: Freedom – The Black Tambourines

Freedom - The Black TambourinesWords by Ed King / Album cover courtesy of Easy Action

Pics lifted from The Black Tambourines’ Facebook page

Honestly, I’d forgotten about Garage Rock. Like the boots of teen angst it had been stacked and shelved; only to be dusted off once a summer, to make feel better about not going out three nights in a row.

I’m older. I listen to classical piano. The Hummingbird shut down a long time ago and I haven’t worn a band t-shirt since Ned’s Atomic Dustbin. Plus I’d spent most of the last decade living in a country where the only Garage Rock was underneath the removed wheels of a car (…sting) so what the hell, I would always have The White Stripes.The Black Tambourines @ The Sunflower Lounge 25.10.15

Then in 2015 a couple of things came my way. Firstly, a local band called The Hungry Ghosts. This is not their review so I’ll leave the one standing. Secondly, the chance to review The Sonics. The actual Sonics (minus and Andy Parypa and Bob Bennett) who sounded as sharp as they were in the day of Etiquette Records.

Now, and (again) I’ll be honest it’s a surprise, we have The Black Tambourines – brought to my rather lackluster attention by local promoters, Killer Wave. Would I like to review this band, playing at The Sunflower Lounge on 25th Oct? They have a new album out too – might want to check it out. Fair enough…

So following that extended pre-amble, here’s the world shortest review. Fu*k me.

The Black TambourinesFreedom, the second album from Falmouth four piece, The Black Tambourines, is a spectacular affair. Raw, honest; it makes me want to smash up the room with a smile on my face.

From the confident and brash, beat, beat, riff of the opening track, ‘I Wanna Stay Away’ – which finishes as unapologetic as it begins, to Starla-esqe meltdown in the album’s final two minutes, this is half an hour (and 47secs) of my life I’ll likely live on repeat. ‘Ride Hard, Crash Hard’. Without pause.

But there’s more to this LP than confidence; Freedom is crafted raw expression, recorded in a DIY honored tradition and served in tempting 2-3minutes slices. This is not a fluke, this is not a fad, this is fu*king awesome. A platitude I can’t imagine the band behind it would bother to care about, but one that will hopefully compel some attention.

Sam Stacpoole’s vocals slide from the distorted scream of ‘No Action’, the first single released, to the laconic drawl of ‘Cool Out’ – knowing when to dominate and when to support. There’s melody throughout too, something pretenders to this crown of raw thorns can too easily forget, with the The Black Tambourinesferocity Freedom so immediately owns casually stepping back for the spiky storytelling of tracks such as ‘She Don’t Want’, ‘LA’ and ‘Look Down’.

It is at this point I could drown in comparisons, but I’ll settle on 1 ½ to make my point. Think The Velvet Underground (‘I’m Waiting for the/my Man’ not ‘Pale Blue Eyes’) if they got Per Almqvist in to sing a few numbers.

But honestly, for the last time, you don’t have to believe what you read – you can stream the beast for free through BEAT Magazine’s online extension (alongside a sneaky self analysis of each track by TBTs).

But don’t be a twat, if you like it then buy it. And on that unwavering condition here’s the relevant link:

And here’s the one you’ll be looking for after Track #11 has finished:

GIG INFO: The Black Tambourines will be playing at The Sunflower Lounge on Sunday 25th October with support from The Red Cords + The Terror Watts – as presented by Killer Wave & PNKSLM. For direct gig details visit


Freedom by The Black Tambourines was released on 4th September through Easy Action Records, for online purchasing direct from the label, click here

For more on The Black Tambourines, visit