|The Great Affairs - '4' (Faragon Records)|
|Written by Russ P|
|Wednesday, 30 January 2013 04:00|
Sadly today news came through that fORMER are no more. fORMER's 2011 album 'The Kids Deserve Cable' was one of those rare happy times when something great and unknown arrives out of the blue. So it's sad to see the band go. But the good news is that Denny Smith's band The Great Affairs are back from hiatus and are here to try and make things right with the EP simply entitled '4'.
Though the personnel making up The Great Affairs are basically the very same people who make up fORMER, The Great Affairs shift gears slightly into more of a stripped down and simplified rock hinted at by the back to basics song titles of 'Rock N' Roll Heart', 'Shame On You' and 'Fists & Guitars'.
The classic chordal riffing of 'Fists & Guitars' brings to mind the simplicity of Zeppelin's 'Rock And Roll' while 'Rock N' Roll Heart' embodies the heart and soul of mainstay American rock and roll - think Tom Petty and John Cougar Mellencamp mixed with a little Aussie feel good channelling of Rick Springfield. 'Shame On You' is another straight ahead rocker with a funky groove and a bluesy Whitesnake vocal courtesy of drummer Kenny Wright. Kenny and Denny - did they ever consider this as a name for the band? - share vocals duties on this EP each taking the lead on every other track.
'Sherrybaby' is the first track that exhibits a few of the power popisms of Smith & Co's fORMER band. This is a cool track not too far away from the melodic sensibilities of Gigolo Aunts as is the next track 'The Ring' which has a retro 50s flavour to it.
'Dyin' To' is my highlight of this 7 song set. It's the quirkiest song on the album in a Subcircus type way. It still fits into the overall vibe of the EP with its upbeat, melodic sections and chugging guitars but it's the combination of the huge downtuned guitar chorus and the vocal approach in the verses that skew things at a pleasing angle.
The EP closes with the acoustic gem 'Gone' - a song akin to the some of Parlor Mob's quieter moments. The Great Affairs have already absorbed 'How Does It Feel' from fORMER's last album into their live set - this, and the addition of second vocalist Kenny Wright, shows that band aren't afraid to mix things up and keep moving musically forward.