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The Union

The World Is Yours

Payola Music

Continuing with their line in classy classical artwork as used on the ’Siren’s Song’ album, the new set ‘The World Is Yours’ gives writers a problem. It’s a little hard to describe exactly how accomplished, deftly played and stuffed full of ace new songs this record is.  I now you read superlatives, dear readers, I know. I have even in my time read Kiss described as accomplished and original and Adele stated as ‘soulful’ ..rather than soaking in self-pity.

I do know that if you attend a show by The Union you will come out wondering whether it could possibly have been any better.  Instrumentally they are tight, with most of the guitar breaks coming from Thunder axe alumnus Luke Morley ( and does he know a good singer when he sees one or not ?) and most of the rhythm /arpeggio guitar from vocalist Pete Shoulder.  Even when singing at a show which had to be abandoned due to throat problems, this man sounded better than almost any other singer, remarkable. We reconvened for a new shot a few weeks later in London and The Union were magnificent.

The songs cover a huge range taking in blues, rock, country rock, Petty-style chugs and plenty more. Without being Oasis-style anthem grinders they manage to come up with catchy choruses and you are never too far from the next powerful guitar outing. But it’s the songs that this group is all about and which makes their albums essential purchases.

Winners here : ‘ You’re My Jesus’, insanely catchy boogie opener after an acoustic teaser, title cut ‘The World Is Yours’ a relaxed folky ballad sung to perfection with background Hammond,  ‘Tangled Up In You’ a churning country slide item with a Rodney Crowell style winsome lyric, ‘Marie Celeste’ a maritime banjo’d folkrock outing with keening slide, ‘Wreck My Scene’ a storming Glenn Hughes tempo and again Shoulder has the vocal timbre to make it rock and urgently. The choppy ‘This is a London Song’ with its fuzzy guitar mix and steady bass ; the jazzy lilt of ‘Lost To the Wind’, a gorgeous song showing The Union as skillful and capable of tenderness.

Best of all – swinging rocker ‘The Perfect Crime’ which hits all the buttons – edgy rhythm and screaming lead, jungle drums and horny lyric plus an earworm  of a chorus veering off into a darker progression. One hell of a song, folks.

I wouldn’t want to go on after this lot !   And on songs, would that Rod Stewart would discover these writers and regain his edge

Pete Sargeant

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