Over the years I have purchased a ton of what I like to call a “friend cd”. You know what I’m talking about. Some person you went to school with, played hockey with, or worked with. They would always invite you to their show, or tell you about their new “band” and hint about the new cd. I would always shell out the money, knowing full well it might be ok at best. I have had a few pleasant surprises here and there, but mostly the music was exactly as expected. Poor quality production and sound. Bad singing and amateur playing. I would always lie through my teeth when asked directly about what I thought. Either ‘You were great” if they were close to average, or “You were really good”, if they were really crap.
In this review I will begin with a preface:
I do know J from the band through this blogging world. He has an amazing site. Here is a link https://resurrectionsongs.wordpress.com/
I will never lie about something I post on my site. I won’t gloss it over to make that person feel better. I would rather not post about it at all. I would hate to have someone shell out hard earned money on something based on my say, listen to it and be able to tell they got snowed. It sets a bad precedent, and taints all of my reviews.
As for the band: Stuart Begley is on lead guitar, Frankie Coia is on bass, Tommy Clark is on drums, and J(Jim Dead) handles the vocals and guitar. They all hail from Scotland. So on to the album itself.
Wooden Kimono – Slow groove begins this one. It has a bit of that “chugging” associated with a desert rock song, minus the Sabbathy sludge. It has an infectious beat, and J’s vocals suit the song nicely. A great opener to set the tone for the rest of the record.
May The Road Rise – Wicked guitar work begin this song off, and continues throughout the entire song. The drums and bass boom, while J flashes hints of his inner Glenn Danzig.
Pray For Rain – Tommy Clark shines on this one. The drums pound with a fury not seen since the heydays of the 70’s. Arena rock drumming may have fallen out of style, but they are welcome on any cd I listen to.
Holding The Line – Has a bit of a Texas blues feel to it. One city that is on my bucket list to visit is Austin, Texas. I would want to spend a month listening to great tunes. This tune would fit right in nicely.
Lovesick Blues – Have you ever wondered what it would have been like if Glenn Danzig had done a collaboration with Alice in Chains or Stone Temple Pilots? If he had, the song might have sounded something like this.
Of note is the gap in the song listing on the inner liner here. Sort of a throwback to the days of albums having 2 sides. Nice touch. Maybe the music is planned for vinyl or perhaps cassette. Hmmm.
Trains – Short but sweet song. What it lacks in lyrical content, it makes up for in musicianship.
Crows On The Wire – The album takes a complete u-turn here. Sounding more like it was recorded in Nashville than Glasgow. It has a nice country feel, without that annoying twang. I get a bit of a Blake Shelton vibe, and a feel good country toe tapping beat. I can only assume(you know what happens when you assume) the guitars used were unique for this song. They have a definite country sound that suits the song perfectly.
Home – Quiet guitar and cryptic lyrics begin this song off. The guitar work reminds me of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet. The vocals have a bit of a Johnny Cash meets Leonard Cohen vibe. J doesn’t sound like either singer, but the song comes across like a well laid out story. For me Johnny and Leonard are best when they pull the listener in with haunting, almost whispering lyrics. J does this as well, and as the story unfolds, his voice rises to a snarl and further commands our attention.
You Coulda Said – Guitar, drums and bass in perfect harmony here. I think though that Frankie turned his bass amp up a little when the others weren’t looking. Also, Tommy’s cymbals may have been due for repair after the punishment they endured here. The background lyrics here harmonize perfectly, and J must have needed a lozenge after this recording. His voice barks out the lyrics to the point of vocal chord strain. Pain for him but pleasure for us. The listener is rewarded with a raw, powerful vocal performance.
I’m Not Lost – J strums while Stuart makes his guitar wail like a banshee. Tommy bangs the skins with wild abandon like a long lost John Bonham recording. Thankfully Frankie kept his bass turned up so as not to be lost in the mix. A little more of a 90’s vibe to the vocals. A nice blend of the best of the 70’s with the best of the grunge era. A really good song to leave the album on. It is almost 7 minutes long, but it doesn’t feel like too much. It should keep us happy until the next release.
This is definitely not a “friends cd”. This is a seriously great album. The mixing, mastering and production quality are all top notch(shout out to Tommy Duffin, James Duffin, and Craig Hughes). The vocals and instrumentation are better than many big name bands, and the various styles and genres covered on this cd all blend together to make for a wonderful listen. I am proud to know J though this blogging world, and wish him and the band all the future success in the world. It will be well earned.
This was a group effort post.
The others were: