Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Smalllife - All The Things You Said

Hear The Track Here

I had much confusion when I first met Jaymz Lee Shaw over which was his material and which was his bands - Smalllife. Well, seems like all the tracks I have reviewed so far (a couple I think, and quite nice they were too). Older (April 2006) and Woke Up This Morning (May 2006) were both excellent examples of the light, Pink Floyd tinged rock I have come to like as practiced by a great many musicians these days. I do find them more in abundance on Soundclick than MP3 Unsigned but so far Jaymz Lee Shaw (the man not the band) hasn't let me down. His voice, which he was amazingly apprehensive about, is one of the main draws of this material so I must admit to interest in this before the review came up. So if you into harmony rock as practiced by Tom Petty, Travelling Wilburys, Jeff Lynne et al, you will like his solo material but what of the band?

The first thing you will think is 'aaarrrggghhh' as this juggernaut bounds into view. The second thought you have will be 'rrrrraaaaaaawwwwwwwkkkkk' and then you'll be gone. Tell you what I am an absolute sucker for a good rock track and All The Things You Said fulfills all the main food groups: killer axe, rhythms so crunchy they could double as breakfast cereal, and drums that kick your fekkin head in. Moreover, there's a right sleazy geezer on the vocals which I cannot believe is Jaymz. If it is, the transition between his own material and this is nothing less than startling. All along here's me thinking that he has a really sweet voice, on that can lull you to sleep even (especially on Older, a must hear if any of this interests you), but no - if this is him, he has the voice of a demon from the pit; fiery, smoky and as scary as shit.

I was lucky enough to work on a couple of early Aerosmith European tours, and there is a lot of the same energy coming from this band - and they are so obviously a band. I mention Aerosmith because - to be honest - they REALLY remind me both in style and sound. There isn't a hair out of place on this track and that takes competence in the band and the same level of competence about getting it down in a studio environment and it comes out smelling sweet everytime. As I say, I readily admit to being a consumate rock animal but even I don't come across tight, punchy guitar rock tracks like this that often - as you'll see by my rating - but this is a special track whether the rock genre bothers you or not. It's also an excellent song, with memorable lyrics, a sensible structure and some top sing-along lines. Believe me, I know. So do my neighbours, much to their eternal reget.

MUST HAVE classic rock.

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