Since the release of his debut album Spindrift, Mike Ross has grown into his blues-rock sound. However, his journey has seen him try various other genres. The perfect example of this was The Clovis Limit, Pt. 1 (inspired by the Clovis Theory of early American migration). With this, it saw him deliver more of an Americana/Country vibe. It was a different way to show off his songwriting talents which produced great tracks such as “Ever After” and “Grow in Your Garden”. Now he returns with its sequel The Clovis Limit, Pt. 2.
From its opening track, it’s clear to hear this has a different sound to Pt. 1. “Thanks A Lot” has a slow build-up before his trusty guitar bursts into life with his bluesy rock vibe. As it continues, the tempo steps up and creates an infectious energy. His guitar skills steal the limelight and ensure he has the listener’s attention from the albums start. As for the rest of the songs, they stand out for one of two reasons. Either due to the music and its arrangement or for his vocal and lyrical talents.
First of all, let’s talk about the soundtrack and its arrangement. Ross has put together the most varied collection of music compared to his other albums. There are still offerings of his traditional style of blues-rock as the outstanding “None of Your Business” can testify. But, he can also deliver some cool Americana tracks like “The Loser”.
Also added to this album is a sublime nine-minute showcase of his musical talents and arrangements with “Shoot You If You Run”. Here is a song that is allowed to breathe and run wild at the same time. The vocals are good, but this is all about the bluesy rock soundtrack which he has created, especially with his guitar skills leading the charge. He also adds in such epic drumming as well as some interesting sound bytes. To hear more of these talents at work, give a listen to the instrumental tracks “Tell Jerry” and “Unforgiven”.
As for his vocal and lyrical talents, at times they are overshadowed by his music. However, when they do stand out, they do it in a big way. For example “Leviathan” offers a balance of the two sides to his work. For almost two minutes, his guitar hypnotises the listener before Ross’ vocals come in. He gets his story started with “Came to me in the morning and hit me like a tonne of lead / While I shout and I scream this impossible dream / Has been turning my blues eyes red”. Instantly he showcases a depth to his words, but it’s the way they are delivered which captivates as much as his earlier guitar work. The remainder of the song dances between the two different elements. It may not be as impactful as others, but there is no mistake, this track is a sleeping giant.
“Hammer” is yet another exceptional moment from the album which offers more great storytelling by Ross. His guitar starts things off by creating an Americana mood, then his story begins. As he delivers the opening lines, it’s hard not to be drawn in by his emotive tone. His words share much emotion, especially with lines such as “So strong in devotion / Your head rules your heart / The fire burns inside you / Which tears you apart”. It intensifies further with the chorus “I wanna go there / Escape the hammer of your love / I wanna be there / It’s something I’ve been thinking of”. As the song progresses, his lyrical depth and its soundtrack continue to impress.
The Clovis Limit, Pt. 2 is the perfect showcase of the range of music which Mike Ross can create
The Clovis Limit, Pt. 2 feels more than a sequel. It is an album which brings together the different sounds which Mike Ross has created from his previous releases. Not only is this a gathering of different genres, but it also showcases the growth of his songwriting. For new listeners, this is a great entry point into his work. But for long time fans, this is yet another great collection of songs for us to enjoy.