No Use Praying is a five track EP from a talented pair of musicians: Birmingham’s Shaun Smith (aka Stealth) and London singer, writer and producer Ross O’Reilly. The duo have come together under the name Cash & Carter to turn a shared love of many old American bands into new music. With several well received singles already to their name, this is their first longer release.
The title track opens the EP, rich and soulful vocals building towards the anthemic chorus. Americana (Letting Her Go) follows, a tender song expressing regret at the loss of a friend. The guitar line adds a strong melody under the tender vocals to give a poignant and moving song. All Of The Way takes the pace up; it’s a bit of a stomp really. The music is powerful and compelling with a great hook.
Ballad Of Telulah tells a story of the south in a typically Americana fashion. With more of a country style, acoustic guitar backing the vocal, this tender track has a delicacy as it tells of the life of a prostitute. The closing Just Like Heaven is an unusual version of a Cure song with a much darker vibe than the original. As with all good covers, the duo definitely give it their own feel.
Cash & Carter are big musical names to live up to. The five tracks here are solid Americana with clear country influences and sound modern rather than dated. No Use Praying is a good EP and the combination of Smith’s vocals and O’Reilly’s guitar works well.
Release date: 5 January 2024