Rock/alternative singer songwriter Scott Alan Simmons is unassuming in the best of ways, with his modest and honest take on classic 90’s alternative a la Sunny Day Real Estate and hHead mixed with a dash of sombre country, Wilco and Neil Young influence. His new album “The Life & Death of Warren Peacemaker” is full of the kind of emotions you normally keep to yourself, the darker types that typically find one looking for solitude. Behind the sadness, anger, and desperation, though, is a sense of freedom and joy, because this is an artist who has found his voice and is most definitely expressing it without reservation.
“Beggars & Gamblers” provides beautifully noisy guitar noise and an angelic chorus to play up Simmons’s soft lead vocal. Simmons plays the “underdog hero” in his own story, and it’s a thrill to root for him in this unusually interesting take on alternative rock/country. “Georgia on my Mind” is minimal and sweet, and he nails the cover by choosing not to make it too much of a production, opting instead to pay tribute with class.
“Tequila” fuzzes up the guitars and adds some extra bass volume on the kick pedal for a serious thump, at least on my good headphones. The guitar work is unbelievable, and this is one of my favourite progressions I’ve heard in some time. It was over too soon. “Goodbye Dutch Girl” was welcome as the next track, as it’s a standout. Scott’s vocals shine as he pines over a lost opportunity, a lost lover overtop emotionally charged chords. “Greyhound” brings the country influence, and slows the pace along with adding some beautiful female vocals on the chorus.
Other highlights from the disc include the dissonant free-flying “(I’m Not Telling You)” and the dynamic “Ghost Town”, which sucks up your focus like a vacuum as the song unexpectedly tones down, bringing the volume to almost complete silence for the chorus.
Overall, this is a stellar new artist who I would recommend highly to fans of Wilco, hHead, Chore, Neil Young, Eliott Smith, and Steve Earle.
Buy the album at Scott Alan Simmons’ Bandcamp.
Check out “Goodbye Dutch Girl” below: