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

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Farpoint - Cold Star, Quiet Star – Let me cut to the chase. Cold Star, Quiet Star is undoubtedly one of 2008's best progressive releases and it is Farpoint's fourth album. They have been around since 1997, and it shows. Just pop their...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues