"Rob Noyes has been on the Eastern Massachusetts scene for a while, but what we've heard him play is music from within the context of electric bands, most of whom are loud as hell and exist somewhere along the rim of the post-core continuum. More recently, Rob has taken to displaying his solo acoustic guitar chops and they are massive. The Feudal Spirit is the first vinyl evidence of their 'shoulders.' Like Western Mass's Tony Pasquarosa, who mines the same widely-variant style-pits, Rob's approach to acoustic playing resembles his electric work only through shared-belief-in-a-strong-downstroke. On the way to developing his own compositional/performance approach, Noyes sometimes seems to have absorbed an almost infinite reservoir of influences. Apart from some superb Basho-like 12-string tunneling, most momentary fragments tend to recall legendary Limeys like John Renbourn (and through him, Davey Graham), because Rob's overt melodic structures tend towards the non-bluesoid. But then you'll maybe hear a note-sequence spiced like something dropped from the hot strings of Michael Chapman or even a powerful throng that makes you think of Wizz Jones. When that happens, you realize there's more of a blues base to some of the songs than you'd been able to untangle. Mr. Noyes hits a vast array of sub-genres on this album, and he hits them all pretty damn hard. Rob's playing carries the weight of many possibly-imaginary forebears, but the way he smears them all together shows a holistic mastery of touch and imagination that defies a lot of today's players, who tend to shine in short bursts, then allow their dreams to outrun their technique. Rob Noyes has no such apparent limitations. Like Raymond Pettibon, whose artwork graces The Feudal Spirit's cover, Rob's able to create a true form-gobble, making some real beautiful noise in the process. Around the world, licensed Hodologists whisper, 'Make mine Noyes.' Why don't you join them?" —Byron Coley, October 23rd, 2016, South Deerfield, MA. Jackets are hand-painted, screenprinted, hand-glued, and hand-cut; Cover art by Raymond Pettibon. 180 gram vinyl pressed at RTI; Lacquers cut by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service; Edition of 330. Includes download code.
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- Mel's Albums of the Year 2017