Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Blu Ice - Final Hand

Hear The Track Here

Surprisingly enough MP3 Unsigned, after a couple of months solid back-to-back techno has come up with some of my favourite musical food, rock. It's turned into a good source of that material over the last few months and that's never a bad thing. Not that I don't like all the bleep-bleep, it's just in my heart I prefer musicians who play instruments. After some reading I discover that Blue Ice is a duo comprised of Rich (from Iodine) and James Oakwood who have both been reviewed lately, both favourably because - as I say - I have a bias towards rock. Probably forever.


Now either these guys guessed that I don't like prog-rock or any strain thereof and just want to see me light up, or they know that (maybe, just maybe) there is enough 'proper' rock to stop me from going off on one. Not a pretty sight. Generally, I find the whole ooh-look-at-me style of rock irritating and pretentious, and Final Hand never did find that tipping point, mainly because of the excellent performances and the overall cohesiveness of the track. The vocals and lyrics in particular should be singled out, as indeed they are in this mix, as being the real stars of the tracks although the individuals give them a good run for their money.

All isn't exactly kissy kissy though because where certain elements are very well represented (guitars, bass, vocals) the poor old drums melt into the background. Bear in mind here, my short attention span chums, that this is rock we are talking about. The place where the musicians have big hair and pouch poses, but the drums have the biggest bollocks of all. Not in this case unfortunately, and the track is much the poorer for it. Mind you, as I say, the other performances, while not being able to make up for the lack of powerhouse drums, are more than up to the task. Here is one almost prog-rock track that actually has the balance between vocal and instrumental almost right. Now if they could just resurrect Keith Moon or John Bonham they would be well away.

Recommended Rock (of the fiddly kind).

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