Exposé Online banner

The David Rhodes Band — The David Rhodes Band
(Glassville, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-06-30

The David Rhodes Band Cover art

For many years, David Rhodes had been promising a solo album, stepping out from his gig as Peter Gabriel’s guitarist, and in 2010 he came out with Bittersweet, which I haven't heard. Now we have a band with his name on it, featuring Rhodes along with his Peter Gabriel bandmate drummer Ged Lynch and bassist Charlie Jones, an alumnus of Robert Plant’s band. In some ways, the music is much more reminiscent of his old band Random Hold than the wide-ranging pop of Mr. Gabriel. Anyone familiar with his previous work as a group member and side-man will know that Rhodes is not the kind of guitarist to hog the spotlight and wank off a thousand notes a second. He’s much more textural, setting the right mood for the song and finding interesting ways to interpret the compositions. While Rhodes hasn’t recorded music that would normally be called “progressive rock,” the quality of the product makes it worthy of note (not to mention his history, which may be somewhat tangential to prog, but is important nonetheless). From the first notes of “If I Could Empty My Head” we’re treated to a solid set of imaginative songs which are catchy without being simplistic. (And I have to say I love the lyric, “If I could empty my head, I’d start again, I’d be more careful about the stuff I put back in.”) And there’s his singing guitar tones, slightly different from situation to situation, but always there holding things together; they’re often significantly distorted, but his effects, along with his lovely vibrato touch, give the music a distinct flavor that’s very appealing. His vocals are quite good as well, both on the more aggressive tunes and on the quieter numbers like “You Are the North Wind” and the engagingly simple “Be Mine.” For some reason I can’t quite articulate, I’m reminded of Be Bop Deluxe, though without keyboards. While the overall forms may follow the conventions of rock music, there are some unusual chord progressions, and the production is crisp and straightforward, with no distracting studio tricks aside from the overdubs of extra guitar and vocal parts. I always felt that Random Hold never reached their potential, and Rhodes gives us one vision of what it could have been.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): David Rhodes

Latest news

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kantata - Samsara – For background information, go dig up a copy of Expose #14, and find the review where I spent half a page trying to describe a CD by Iwan Fals. Here, the XTC/Sting/Cat Stevens-influenced...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues