Sometimes all you need is some good old-fashioned grungy rock and roll with a husky voice accompaniment. At the risk of giving up the goods here in the first few sentences, that’s essentially what Tess Parks gives you on her album, ‘Blood Hot’.

She released the single ‘Open Your Mind’ earlier this year and now we’ve got the album it belongs to, courtesy of Alan McGee’s record label, 359. He’s worked with Primal Scream, The Libertines and Oasis in the past (to name a few), and given his experiences, it’s no wonder people talk about Parks’ taste in music. She’s allegedly a big Oasis fan, which may initially shock you if you’ve listened to the album. However, when you listen carefully the sharp guitar riffs that drive the majority of her songs scream 90’s Manchester.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Nirvana is another influence you can quickly detect, in fact, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the intro to Open Your Mind for Nirvana’s ‘About a Girl’. It’s easy to see how Parks has connected with McGee, musically, don’t however, let me lead you to believe this is a fan girl’s replica of her favourite musicians. ‘Blood Hot’ is 11 tracks of understanding and respect for her influences, paired with a contemporary look at what is entirely hers.

The grunge ridden husky vocals are what make it so outstanding it’s like whiskey being poured directly into your ears. Speaking of whiskey, lets not forget the undeniable country blues vibe of Blood Hot, which adds a certain something to the 90’s rock mix she’s created.

‘Walk Behind Your House’ has the blues sound in abundance, quickly followed by ‘Somedays’, the newest single from the album; “I don’t like anything, but I love everyone some days”, sings Parks. The single features some seriously fed up lyrics, I can picture teenagers across the globe sitting in their rooms, apathetic and misunderstood, loving this shit. Then again, I can picture myself doing it too.

Tess Parks has attitude, that’s for sure just listen to ‘Refugee Camp’ and hear the dark energy that coexists with the mesmeric. She’s married the mellow and the melancholy, beautifully. The lyrics, if you can make them out through Parks’ raspy singing voice, are engaging and empathetic. She’s feeling what you’re feeling.

It doesn’t look like I have a bad word to say about Parks. Nobody seems to so far. Maybe I could call her an outrageous hipster, with her vintage typewriter and daisy dress (featured in ‘Somedays’ video) but I would be clutching at some seriously short straws. The truth is, her daisy dress is real nice, and this album is brilliant.

Sylvie Metcalfe

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