Reviews roundup – Chalcedony vs. Stephen Wentworth Band vs. Joel Beazer & the Fast Lane vs. Ray Gilman
We like to travel round the world here at Zeitgeist in our never ending quest for quality music. And for this saga of the ongoing battle of inner-demons from the perspective of an agoraphobic, we’ve set sail for the hallowed shores of East Grinstead.
Those of you who are quick on the uptake may have noticed that this is the third part of the saga. Now I’ve no idea what happened in the first two, so feel free to make up your own story. However, Chapter IV is on its way, so gird yersel.
This is symphonic prog styled rock, with some touches of metal and a few hey nonny nos’. And it’s very good indeed considering it’s been made at home by the eponymous mainman, along with his brother Chris on guitars. It’s one of those old fashioned albums that really does need you to sit down and listen to it in its entirety and tunes like ‘The Roman Road’, ‘A Thousand Times’ and ‘Never Fall Again’ will have you hitting the repeat button, um, repeatedly.
THE STEPHEN WENTWORTH BAND
Good & Bad
It’s 1977 and in the enormodomes of the Midwest, Foghat are gearing themselves up backstage while the Michael Stanley Band prepare to play the main support slot. But out there on the stage, entertaining 20,000 hot dog munchers, are the Stephen Wentworth Band, with their blues tinged, muscular, mainstream rock.
Of course, this is 2000 and something ot other, and the Vermont based Stephen Kondi has spent over thirty years playing in assorted bands, leading to this debut album by the Stephen Wentworth Band.
And it’s good old-fashioned classir rock to the fore, with some tasteful guitar work and some good songs. Back in the day, songs like ‘Can’t Catch Me’ and ‘Send A Sweetheart’ would have went down a treat, overlaid by some raspy vocals. Your Dad will love this.
JOEL BEAZER & THE FAST LANE
No Stoppin’ Now
Trinidad and Tobago. Soca, Lilt, Russell Latapy. However, it turns out that they have rock music as well. So, say hello to Joel Beazer, who has spent many a long year trying to convince the locals to turn their backs on soft drinks and ex Hibees, in a plethora of bands such as Alexes Machine, The Astral Garden and The Orange Sky.
And now he’s got an album out with his own band, which reflects his somewhat scuzzy, punkish influences. So you’ll be hearing some Rancid licks, alongside a fair few sleaze rock riffs, as he rattles through an array of tunes like ‘Midnight Alley Emergency’, ‘Won’t Let You Down’ and ‘Rockabilly Dress’, any of which would have sat happily on a Hanoi Rocks B-side (or a Cheap And Nasty A-side).
Sleaze rock fans of a certain age and disposition will find a lot to enjoy here, and with Axl and Slash getting back together, maybe his time is now.
Some classic rock from Minneapolis, courtesy of guitarist and singer Ray Gilman, who with “No Reason” has releases a new solo CD.
And it’s seventies, prog tinged rock that he’s gone for. Which is nice. But as well as the David Gilmour styled melodic guitar passages, he can also rock out with some excellent guitar solos, which enhance, rather than overshadow the songs.
It’s an old fashioned albums worth of good material here, with the likes of ‘It Happens Everytime’, ‘Stand and Fight’ and ‘Lord Shine Your Light On Me’ the ones I would point the streamers amongst you to. He’s a veteran of the Twin Cities Music scene, and has amassed about nine albums of his own over the years. If this one is anything to by, then he’s got a catalogue worth looking into.