What does it sound like?:
Martin Barre’s new solo album is his 8th to be released, and is a proudly old school set. The album sound is very 70s in that the deafening snare drum of the 80s or the very bright, loud, reverb and delay drenched sound of a modern production are avoided lending the songs a pleasingly woody, dusty vibe which suits them well. Martin wrote the music and also the lyrics which explore more gritty rock themes of struggle, hard work and emotional depths than the random topics in which ex-Tull colleague Ian Anderson sought inspiration. The playing is great of course, with the guitar playing a match for anything you’ll hear on Planet Rock and with quite a bit more taste than that displayed by yer average rock widdler. The presence of banjo, mandolin, mandola and a variety of acoustic guitars means the tonal pallet varies nicely from song to song. Variety is also provided by there being three vocalists on the album, band regular Dan Crisp plus Becca Langsford and Alex Hart providing bluesy female contributions. The songs are ripe with riffs, plenty of proper arrangement and lots to discover on repeated listens. It’s folk rock, with an emphasis on the rock.
What does it all *mean*?
I guess it means there’s life after being a seriously long term regular in one of the all time great bands. It doesn’t sound like Tull at all other than the odd moment (which I suspect was a Martin Barre moment back then anyway). I can’t see today’s 16 year old playing it to his mates but I bet signed copies fly off the merch tables at gigs, which is pretty much where today’s muso makes a crust anyway these days.
Goes well with…
I’ve been playing it in the car where it provides great accompaniment to a long journey.
Might suit people who like…
I was trying to think who this album reminds me of, and it came to me last night – it has far more in common with “Argus” era Wishbone Ash than anything else. The syncopated playing, lots of lead guitar and non-showoffy vocals make it a shoe in for medium sized classic rock festivals this summer.