His debut album is a sprawling, largely instrumental affair with many threads: Eastern-tinged psychedelia, hazy, pastoral folk and dusty desert blues. And they are expertly combined, with cantering acoustic guitars and propulsive grooves preventing the sound from ever lapsing into proggy torpor. - Observer Music Monthly back in 2007 when Rick Tomlinson and co. unveiled their first full length as Voice of the Seven Woods.
Fast forward two and a half years (a few cdr’s, a ten inch, a seven inch or two and a rather apt alteration of name) and you wouldn’t even countenance the idea of a “proggy torpor” whilst listening to these ten songs. They take those aforementioned elements, retaining the focus on instrumentals, and they hardboil them like misguided spiritual alchemists. The resulting explosions of alloy and lore are compelling to say the least. Groovy too. No torpor, they don’t leave any time for that kind of malarkey.
And, after the initial shock, there’s plenty of beauty to be found beneath the muscular dynamics. Tomlinson’s playing is an absolute joy to hear, whether you’re nodding slowly or thrashing your head around wildly, and the band he’s got billowing up a storm behind him aren’t half bad either. Whether it’s Seven Woods or Seven Thunders, this particular guitarist is brewing up something extraordinary amidst the hills of Lancashire.