Graham Day and the Forefathers — Good Things
(Own-Up U5, 2014, CD/LP + download)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-12-14Graham Day and the Forefathers are the trio of Graham Day (vocals and guitar), Allan Crockford (bass and vocals), and Wolf Howard (drums). These guys are no youngsters. They have been blasting out their muscular, testosterone-laden version of garage rock in various incarnations for over 30 years. Graham and Allan were in The Prisoners (1982 – 1986), before forming The Prime Movers with Wolf in 1988. They split in 1993, reformed as The Solarflares in 1999, and called it quits again in 2004. They’ve also played in The James Taylor Quartet and Goodchilde (Allan and Wolf), and Billy Childish’s Buff Medways (Graham and Wolf). They reunited as The Forefathers in 2013 as a live band. Listening to Good Things you can definitely tell that this is a party band. The title track opens the disc and right out of the gate they tear into you with raw gut-wrenching 60s rock ’n’ roll. I am astonished that at their age they can still deliver the goods as if they were in their teens! I do not normally notice the drums on a record, nor the bass. But in the case of the Forefathers Wolf slays you with his relentless and inspired drumming and Allan is all over the neck of his bass. These two are not content to let the lead guitar get all the glory. Bands that come to my mind are The Pretty Things and the Zombies. The one draw back is that on about half of the songs they do not get of each others way and the result is more a wall of sound. Nevertheless, most of the twelve songs address different aspects of strained and contentious relationships. The one outsider is the instrumental “Sitar Spangled Banner,” that in my opinion is the best track on the disc. It is a bit crisper arrangement, each musician has room to move, and the song is almost surf music. The other standout tunes are “You Always Find a Way to Hurt Me,” “Sucking out My Insides,” and the closer “Get off My Track.” If you long to kick out the jams, this one’s for you.
Related artist(s): Graham Day and the Forefathers
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more