Taking his distinct sound and his zany lyrical ways for another spin, Rolling Up The Hill shows that Jay McCalister of Beans On Toast is rolling at top speeds. Capturing themes of love, art, travel and capitalism, it’s an album that’s bursting with energy from start to finish.
Opening up Rolling Up The Hill is a reminiscent tale full of desire straight from his childhood; The Mudhills Crew is the first destination on the folk rock journey. While no trip is complete without romance-fuelled affair, single I’m Home When You Hold Me is the modern classic lovey anecdote. While The Great American Novel and The Art Of Friendship are the pivotal folk tracks noting significant moments from experiencing the world and growing old.
Although its home to warm tales, nothing’s safe from a musical rant, take Robin Hood Costume, the ballsy folk ditty detailing the futility of cold hard cash taking inspiration from the poor mans hero, Robin Hood. Backed by repetitive rhythms, McCalister raps, “the money in your bank doesn’t even exist” / “we need another plan of attack, we need to find a way to take our humanity back” to highlight the life we’ve become accustomed too, with The Industrial Estate backing a similar message. Flowing on from the previous track is the memorable God Is A Cartoonist, a very bold and all too real song. Taking on a serious tone, referencing religion, racism and how their perceptions have gotten out of control. Combining simplistic acoustic riffs and a subtle beat, McCalister cries, “cause when a brown man kills, we blame religion and when a black man kills we blame the race.” / “and when a white man kills we say it was an isolated event and he’s criminally insane” and repeatedly exclaims “god is a terrorist” / “god is a cartoonist” throughout the track which really resonates.
It’s an album that doesn’t enlist any particular flow, Rolling Up The Hill is certainly one that will keep you guessing and have you hooked. Taking a stab at capitalism, a look at our ever-problematic society and a glance at what’s in store when you reach middle age it’s essentially an upbeat folksy sermon. But to finish off his spiel and rounding out this revealing album are the heart-warming tunes that remind you life it isn’t all bad.