Storytelling troubadour Salvation Bill (aka Ollie Thomas) returns with ‘Has Had It’ – a collection of seven songs that touch upon everything from financial struggles to the imminent and constant threat of death, although there’s some lightness along the way.
The album opens with ‘Well Wishers’ and its slightly menacing and repeated mantra of ‘All we ever wanted was for you to be happy’ before Ollie takes you on a trip from the White Cliffs of Dover to the clouds of Norway, before finishing with a burst of birdsong. If that wasn’t unsettling enough, the next track ‘Slow Wave’ finds him being chased by the chief of police and thanking someone for a beautiful dream where he doesn’t know what it means – all against a tantalisingly odd mix of samba beats and alt-folk guitar work: ‘I did nothing good, nothing good today. I have lost my way. I have thrown it away and I’m sick of being drunk all the time’.
The 50-second ‘The A40 Rattler’ acts as an incidental interlude, while ‘A Husband and His Mouse’ is a dark tale of domestic abuse – ‘Sometime you won’t shut up’ – with layers of instrumentation that recall Villagers’ more intense moments. ‘Baby Bird’ opens with harmonies before turning into something more sensual with its recollections of past sexual experiences: ‘She wraps her arms around my neck’; ‘I want to stop’. There’s another burst of ‘Well Wishers’, this time with more angst and melodic moments, before the album comes to an end with ‘Worst Laid Plans’ – a poignant tale of woe and loneliness after a bad break-up: ‘This house is turning into a hell hole without you in it’.
While Salvation Bill ‘Has Had It’, you won’t be able to get enough of these twisted tales.