Friday, 21 July 2017
Davey Lane - I'm Gonna Burn Out Bright
I've always been a You Am I fan, they are ensconced firmly in Indie Rock and where as that can be a bit ten a penny over here, it's less so in Australia which as always done bluesy grit rock and Power Pop and more recently singer songwriters and an edge towards Country.
There's no doubt that when Davey Lane joined as Lead Guitarist, first appearing on 2001's Dress Me Slowly, the bands sound got bigger. It also departed more from the template with hints of Psych and Power Pop at times. They had found themselves one hell of a guitarist.
So when Davey Lane's first solo album was muted around 2014, there was the usual worries of great guitarist going solo. I dreaded it would go all Big Boy Rock, particularly with his time spent in Jimmy Barnes's live ensemble. There's also a worry that band members who go solo, try to show how much talent that they've got and how they are so different than their band. Most end up over produced messes.
The resulting Atonally Young was far from that, there was variance, it was different to You Am I, but it nodded more to Beatlesque Pop and late 70's New Wave Stiff Records than Guitar Extravaganzas. Perhaps having been a one time addition to the Crowded House live band, should have given us all a clue.
Atonally Young was crowd funded and made for 15 grand and it sounded as though it cost much more. Even more impressive was a Covers Disc that was part of the Crowd Funding Project. The covers were inspired, a mixture of The Beatles, Nick Lowe, Todd Rundgren and even XTC's Earn Enough For Us.
So we arrive in 2017 with Lane's second solo album and it's even better than that debut. Overall it's firmly in the Clever Pop Department, with lots of hints of Psych and certainly far more keyboards than you'd expect.
The opener, I'll Forget Yr Name is all riff, with a chorus that hints at Supertramp's Logical Song. It's like an update on Mid 70's Pop Rock or Martin Rushent getting hold of a UK late 70's New Wave outfit. It's a stormer.
She's A Timebomb is like a psyched up Cheap Trick. A Lesson In Cause And Effect is Feeder type Brit Pop, I'll Set U Free is like Small Faces on LSD. Sinking May is pure Roddy Frame fronting The Motors.
The whole feel of the album is poptastic, wonderfully melodic. As a Psych Pop fan, I love it when the album veers that way and both the early Floyd like Komarov and the trippy Hit The City are wonderfully so.
At times, Lane's voice is very similar to The Orgone Box's Rick Corcoran, a real compliment. That really works on the brooding meandering Headley Grange, the only time the album slows down and it still morphs into a Brian May type Guitar solo.
The only downside is Witch In My Mind, which does seem forced, a Nile Rodgers type groove that is a bit plastic funk. However this is a minor quibble and after all this goodness, you'd expect the album to end on a high and boy, does it. You Had Me On Side is anthemic, it starts as a sort of lounge affair, rocks out and then ends as a soundtrack to an 80's Industrial Wasteland Film Soundtrack. A corking 8 minutes plus.
If you'd have said to me at the start of the tear that a guitarist from You Am I would be vying for my album of the year, I'd have laughed at you. As we reach the end of July, I'm Gonna Burn Out Bright is certainly doing that. It's a wonderfully cohesive effort, plenty of variance, but demonstrably melodic.
Well done that man!