Esoteric Antenna (label)
16 November 2018 (released)
17 November 2018
The title of the album and the theme is around the loss of Bronham’s daughter to cancer but he has delivered an album that brims with good tunes, some sterling riffery and no shortage of classy Blues/Rock. He may cover life, loss and memories but he does it with powerful music.
I’ve been a fan of Bronham since I first saw Stray in – probably – 1970. His solo work, as well as the dozen albums Stray released is classic British Blues/Rock with a touch of psychedlica and Prog. His guitar sound is striking but for me it was always his vocals that really set him apart, clear of tone and darkly passionate.
The album spans a lot of different forms and I was a little surprised when the first song hit my ears – ‘Let’s Get This Show Started’ is a string laden soul and funk classic. I almost expected to hear Curtis Mayfield on vocals and Jamie Masters (Co-producer) adds beautiful string arrangements to the song. As a show starter it really hits the mark.
The songs all through the album are strong whether they are outright belters like ‘Champagne’ or countrified Americana such as ‘Land Of The Free’ or the Pretty Things tinged ‘Monkey’. He writes songs that are very easy to listen to but the lyrics are meaningful and bear listening to. I really like his guitar solos – not overstretched or unnecessary but there to carry the song forward.
Personal favourites are many.
The title track is a stirring plea to the world to explain the hardships and losses we all feel – a Beatle-esque rhythm that could be so sad and dirgeful but instead is standing strong and looking forward.
‘Paradise’ is a delicious piece of pop, this time looking back at a life well lived and with a lovely Wurlitzer line underpinning the song courtesy of Simon Rinaldo.
Finally the slightly psychedelic ‘Life’ which at only 2 minutes 40 says more than most bands do in a career.
This one is going to stick around on my decks for a while. 12 excellent songs and his clever changes of style and form bring back so many memories …