The David Rhodes Band — The David Rhodes Band
(Glassville, 2015, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-06-30
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.
Related artist(s): David Rhodes
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more