Benny Monteux and Richy Neill – Acoustic Split EP

Image: Richy Neill/Benny Monteux

by Thomas Neil

I feel really bad that it’s taken me this long to get going with this especially since I really wanted to be able to sing my praises for this split EP when I first received it but unfortunately things in my life got a little complicated and It’s only settled down enough for me to get this done now. But I’ll just get on with it and let Benny Monteux and Richy Neill do the real singing.

The acoustic split between the two is fantastic. I really like the artwork for the EP. I usually wouldn’t mention it, in fact the last time I did it was because the artwork was a tastefully drawn sketch of a nude and overweight man. This is nothing like that, it’s bright and eye-catching and incredibly well designed.

The split is a collaboration between to great Edinburgh based musicians Benny Monteux and Richy Neill, each getting two songs, the first is a new track just for the single and the second is an older track. The first and second Tracks were written and performed by Benny Monteux and the third and fourth Tracks were written and performed by Richy Neill.

‘Teeth and Claws’ is excellent, it made me smile and when a song evokes any reaction surely that’s a good thing….well unless its projective vomiting but I digress. Maybe I just really like the trombone (and we have Andrew Nicholson to thank for that) but whatever it is that gives this track that special something it has it in spades. It’s catchy and is definitely getting added to my regular playlist joining some other tracks from Benny from another review I did.

The next track ‘Hold Tight’ from his EP of the same name, which launched in 2012 and it opens with the same energy carried on from the previous choice, making it the perfect track to follow it. The songs are different but it’s nice to see that two tracks about five years apart work so well together. We get some more horns in this track as well, and there’s something about it, which I really like, maybe because it’s not something you hear every day but it definitely adds to Benny’s mellifluous voice (let’s pretend that I didn’t have to google for words that mean nice sounding)

I have to admit this is my first time hearing Richy Neill but after hearing this track that’s more shame on me because his first track ‘Father’s Words’ is a song that stays with you, almost haunting. It reminds me of the Black Stone Cherry song ‘Things my Father said’ although this is in no way an imitation and it just got to me, it’s one of those songs you could listen to on repeat and just lose yourself in the lyrics and the soft instrumental undertone.

The second track ‘Skin and Bones’ is a little slower-paced and a little melancholic but and it really resonates with the listener. The parts where Richy Neill and Matt Dunn (backing vocals) harmonise are incredible and I’m really glad that I got the chance to listen to it.

If you want to get yourself a copy of the acoustic split EP and I think you should then check out their bandcamp.

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