|Band Of Frequencies - 'Rise Like The Sun' (Vitamin Records)|
|Written by Russ P|
|Wednesday, 02 January 2013 04:00|
I was going to start off this review by saying that this album was a rather schizophrenic affair - that it started off slow and relaxed and gradually gained a heavier momentum towards the end. I'd even been impressed by the CD's booklet listing the lyrics to the songs in reverse order. This is exactly how I like to read newspaper and magazines! I thought I'm not alone. Then came the inevitable fact that I'd been listening to the album backwards and I discovered that yes…in fact I am still alone.
So let's see how this thing is supposed to sound right way up shall we? Well these Australian surfer dudes start off with a suitably free-spirited song called 'Wanderlust'. It's going to be the theme of this review that I can name scores of bands that come to mind when listening to this album but none of them quite pinpoint what the band actually sound like. The vibe on this particular one has that laid back groove that adorned so many Spin Doctors and Edie Brickell & New Bohemians songs. "All I've Found" is another restless and rootless song where vocalist Shannon Sol Carroll sings "I'm on the road, I'm on the move, nothing to gain, nothing to lose".
Title track 'Rise Like The Sun' starts off like it's going to sound as relaxed as the others but kicks into a heavier guitar sound with Jeff Buckley like chords with everything else about the song having a Mark Lanegan influence to it which is just as well and saves us from any early Pearl Jam comparisons.
'Free Again' ramps it up a notch with something that loosely approximates to something that Rival Sons could put out. The verses here are the most alluring with the choruses failing to take up the baton. A change of tempo later on in the song doesn't do much to up the ante but does introduce a Hendrix-like psychedelia which is appealing.
Funky remains the name of the game with 'Shake It Up' which has shades of Stereo MCs, G.Love and Fun Lovin' Criminals in the vocal delivery and the Fun Lovin' Criminals element is again reprised when the track stretches out into a very guitar-heavy chorus along the lines of 'Southside'. This is the peak of the album for me.
'Down To Earth' still retains that Stereo MCs vibe this time through the dubious medium of reggae. I say dubious…I always approach reggae wearing a hazmat suit. With UB40 I wear 3 or 4 of them at once but with The Police I can roll down the top and wear it around my waist.
'Steps' is another nice song. One of my favourites. The Mark Lanegan-like vocals are mixed with some Gomez and some Alex Turner here. Great guitar parts and a brilliant change of rhythms make it a winning combo for me.
Amongst the reggae littered debris at the tail end of the album is the funky 'I Wanna Know' - half Stevie Wonder and half Stevie Ray Vaughan - very superstitious - actually it's more 'Higher Ground' but that doesn't fit half as well. It's a bit of an epic track that also puts on display the ghostly remains of Jim Morrison but since that gives me visions of Morrison in the desert, and sand goes with the sea…I'm rambling now…
'Rise Like The Sun' is a really well recorded album with impeccable performances from the band - just listen to 'Shades Of Grey'. Band Of Frequencies do a really great job of suffusing their music with their beliefs and their way of life. You get a real feel for who they are. This album might not have made my 20 albums of the year for 2012 but I can tell you now that this album isn't going to be filed away and forgotten.