There are sounds in rock and roll that set bands apart. There are elements involved in music that grab your attention and hold it tight. Violins do and brass does. These are interesting additions to a genre’ most famous for guitar and drum.
Saxman Geoff Blythe (whose resume is staggering and includes working with Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe. As well as being a founding member of Dexys Midnight Runners) and his merry men of GI Blythe have recorded a new LP called “Lost In Space”. A brass fused frolic that is aggressive and melodic and incredibly unique. There is a maturity in their sound that comes across and captures your mind.
The album opens up with a rousing “Run Rabbit Run”, an uplifting ditty that almost has a ska flare to it, until the lyrics pop in. The lyrics delivered gruff and dangerous, so eerie and unexpected from such upbeat tempos. As a vegan I am not fond of that shooting sound I heard…or the stew. But I told you vocalist Archie Brown sounded dangerous. Hide your pets.
The sound is a fantastic mixture of dark and scratchy vocals coupled with happy go lucky piano and horn. Wait, I don’t want to leave out the bass drum and guitar, they’re actually foundation of the layers of sound. Bassist Joe Burcaw, and drummer Crispin Taylor keep the rhythm steady when all else takes off.
“Heaven Has Come”, is a slow dance in the middle of the party. A love song that punches you in the guts. Old time R&B feel but thoroughly modern in its delivery. What beautiful sentiment. I’d break windows for a lyric sheet for this one.
“Hundred Dollar Bill” is now on heavy rotation. A perfect paced treadmill work out tune. I adore this song and have to claim it as my fave of the disc. The working man’s lament is coupled with a who gives a fuck punch of ska beat. This actually could end up being on my list of classics. This will be fantastic live. Fabulous and nothing short of contagious.
The music is not for the weak. These are ruffians, not spit shined performers. The edgy grit gives GI Blythe a sound that is more powerful and less manufactured.
The instrumental ‘Freedom March’ is the ideal showcase for a band of true musicians. In a time when musicianship can be created on a Mac, it’s refreshing if not awe inspiring to hear instruments being brought to life.
“Fine Mess Rag” is killer. I wouldn’t really mess with this guy. But the brutal tone with happy horns again makes me feel good for feeling dangerous and is that what rebel rock is supposed to be?
The closing tune “Persecuted Musician Syndrome” is a drunken hip grinding mess of a song that is so sultry that if you don’t pay attention to the lyrics you’d think it was a striptease. “I got not time for Facebook, I only got two friends’, (his guitars), is a perfect grand finale to a band with heart, soul and a ridiculously fantastic sense of humour. PMS Blues indeed!
I have to say that this is not a happy go lucky band. This is a rough and tumble mens club that we are privileged to be invited in to. I am so happy I discovered them it is a sound that my brain had been searching for. Sound has become so generic that it’s fantastic to hear real music by real people. Complex but comforting. “Lost In Space” offers and audible adventure through raw emotions and intricate rhythm.