With the help of former Engine Alley lass Emmaline Duffy-Fallon, Kila's Brian Hogan sheds his trad roots in favour of boisterous blues rock and brooding sombre expositions. With his suitably gruff and character-packed vocal Hogan imbues these songs with a murky undercurrent that makes them strangely tantalizing, if only momentarily.
With a blast of vigorous bluesy guitar, '26 Years' throws down the gauntlet for much of what's to come throughout 'Love Life & Limb'. These kind of mammoth guitar riffs are one of this record's finest achievements, dotted as they throughout its eleven tracks, paying homage to old school blues and rock n roll without a hint of irony. Providing the backbone with her solid drumming, Duffy-Fallon also adds a little sex to proceedings with her sensual backing vocals.
Widespread comparisons to Nick Cave become more appropriate in the second half, when things become somewhat more dank and gloomy. From the morose tones of 'Lipstick', where Hogan is joined by Gavin Friday as doleful strings wander atop a simple plucked guitar line, to the jarring minor chords of 'Rain', the dreariness seems to suit Preachers Son. But this tack is only effective for so long, leading 'Love, Life & Limb' to drag slightly in some of these later numbers.
'Should Have Been Gone' is easily the most daring song on offer here, subtly blending cowboy country and western with traditional Indian flavours. Elsewhere, a cover of the Dusty Springfield classic that is their namesake likely makes for a live audience favourite, but on record it seems a little forced, as if consciously attempting to turn a well loved song on its head and not quite succeeding. Its inclusion is somewhat anomalous, though, on a record that has soul, sensitivity and exuberance in abundance.