Let’s forget the past DNA of this band and look at the present for that is what counts; all four members are capable vocalists with Brian Baker taking on the lead role (as he tends to be the main songwriter) but he now takes on a new role as a member of a very tight band.
Lyrically GRADUAL is up there with the likes of Paul Kelly and what sets this band apart are those first few powerful opening chords of every track, capably backed by some exacting percussive input by Steve Wells. How often are drums placed either at the back or the forefront of tracks? Not so in this case as through precise playing and production skills the drums become an equal partner without swamping the sound. Back this with swirling guitars and the tightness of this band shines through.
David Carr’s lead guitar work neatly fills gaps you didn’t even know were there and the subtle bass playing by Darren Trott is counter balanced by Brian Baker’s playing too. This is an experienced band and deserves to be out there in the mainstream.
FOR LOVE (the only co-written track by Brian with Eddie Rayner) is a typical song of love foregone from a male perspective; how many writers could come up with: “…broke my back for love” ? Not many and this is but one example of why this is a lyrically and musically sound EP.
Amazingly, in MY BEAUTIFUL FRIEND, we hear the opening undertaken by an acoustic guitar followed by an explosion (of tightly controlled proportions)of electric guitars, great harmonies, pounding drums and vocals other bands can only aspire to.
GRADUAL has arrived.