[sic] Magazine

John J. Presley – White Ink EP

The White Ink EP, electric-bluesman John J. Presley’s debut following a couple of well-received singles in 2014, is proof of a portal between Mississippi and the Midlands, his modern-day missives rushed back to the decades-old Delta via swampy stomp and wailing slide guitar. Presley’s gruff baritone, too, really fits the part, conjuring a grizzled level of authenticity to match his vintage guitars – both senses intended.

Accordingly, then, Presley’s primal struggles with love and loss are tackled with early White Stripes-style blues-rock riffs that owe just as much to Zeppelin, the wheezy contributions of Harmonium and Fender Rhodes electic piano equally steering his atmospheric compositions towards the slower mosey and lightly psychedelic waters of The Doors.

White Ink’s gentlest statement, “Sweet Superstition”, finds the best of both worlds, searing feedback disrupting its transportative finger-picking, while the EP’s expansive closer, “Ill At Ease”, plays its quivering repeats off against Presley’s most unhinged vocal turn. They’re both handsome cuts from an impressive debut marking Presley out – as his name would suggest – for a place in the annals of rock history. Hell, if that portal’s set up right he may already be there.

Best track: “Ill At Ease”

~The digital version of the White Ink EP is out now via Vital Music Group and the limited edition vinyl will follow August 21st 2015.~