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'Hearts And Bones' EP
(52 Music)
Out Now

Johnny Main

johnny main


James Toseland is the former motorcycle racer who won the 2004 and 2007 Superbike World Championships but had to retire from professional motorsport in 2011 due to a wrist injury sustained during a testing session. With his professional racing career at an end, it didn't take Toseland long to work out what he was going to do next, and he jumped straight into his career as a musician.

Of course, Tosleand wasn't just doing something he liked – he's actually an accomplished pianist, and with his band, under the banner of Crash, he regularly performed gigs around the world. Tosleand's ambition reached further, however, and after going solo, he teamed up with Zurab Melua (sister of singer Katie Melua – who Toseland married in 2012).

Under the Tosleand banner, they released their debut single, 'Life Is Beautiful', in 2013 to great acclaim and subsequently supported Reef, Status Quo and others on UK tours as well as being gifted a spot at the 2013 Download Festival.

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Since then, the band have been hard at work in the studio and this three track EP is the first fruits of their labour. Recorded and produced by Little Angels front man Toby Jepson, it consists of two original tracks and a cover song showing the different facets of the band and their sound.

Having seen Toseland and his band play, I know that they're a really good live act, however, there's something with this EP that just lets the band down. For me, the vocals from Toseland, especially on the title track are frankly a bit of a letdown.

'Hearts And Bones', the track, starts off well enough with the great guitar riff and drums picking up the pace before the lead vocals come in, but for me, there's something about these recorded vocals that just jar with me. Maybe he's trying too hard in his delivery, because the vocal sound comes across as a difficult listen for me. It's a great song overall, but the vocals are the one thing that unfortunately lets it down, and that's a real shame as it's the lead track here.


Second track 'The Closer I Get' fares slightly better, however, so it's not all bad news. It's a more mid-paced number with drummer Joe Yoshida laying down the solid beat while being backed up with the great bit of twin guitar work from Melua and Ed Bramford.

Toseland's voice is more suited to this type of slower paced number, and he's able to hold on to some of the longer notes very well, especially during the choruses, and this is by far his best vocal performance.

The final number here is 'Reward', which is a re-imagining of the classic Teardrop Explodes song from 1981, and to me, it's the best of the three offerings here. Out go the Eighties keyboard sounds and in comes the driving guitar rhythms showing they band have really thought about how to put their spin on the track as opposed to just re-recording a faithful version of the song.

Yoshida equips himself well again here and is a very good version of the song. It's another fast tempo number, with Toseland's voice sounding good again. Overall the EP is a bit hit and miss as far as I'm concerned, but it shows some promise for the band and their future.

You can see the official video for 'Hearts And Bones' here:

You can see Toseland live here:
Friday 10th April – Wardrobe, Leeds
Saturday 11th April – Fruit, Hull
Monday 13th April – Think Tank, Newcastle
Tuesday 14th April – Electric Circus, Edinburgh
Wednesday 15th April – Academy 3, Manchester
Thursday 16th April – Sugarmill, Stoke
Friday 17th April – Waterfront Studio, Norwich
Sunday 19th April – Bowery District, Reading
Monday 20th April – Fleece, Bristol
Tuesday 21st April – The Cavern, Exeter
Wednesday 22nd April – Joiners, Southampton

'Hearts And Bones' EP track list:
Hearts And Bones
The Closer I Get

Toseland are:
James Toseland – Vocals/Keyboards
Zurab Melua – Guitar
Ed Bramford – Guitar
Roger Davis – Bass Guitar
Joe Yoshida – Drums

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