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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Dave Davies

Rippin’ Up Time

Review by Gary Hill

This is kind of an odd review. It seems to have two potential audiences. Those who know the work of Dave Davies and have followed his work is one audience. Those people will likely be ecstatic with this release. It really has a classic Davies vibe to it. Much of this sounds like The Kinks and like other of his work. It definitely will seem familiar, but perhaps with a bit more of a raw, garage kind of sounds.

For those who don’t know Davies’ work, either in the Kinks or solo, there is a bit of a warning to be made. You really need to be aware that Davies’ vocals aren’t like most vocals. He’s a guitarist first, and his singing is not top=notch by any means. He is genuine and heartfelt though. Plus the songs are quite good. This has a tendency toward adventurous. I don’t like everything here, but I like a lot of it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Ripping Up Time

The guitar sound that leads this off is nearly heavy metal. It works through some great noisy jamming before the vocals enter. There is almost a White Stripes intensity to this thing. It’s noisy and very crunchy. It kind of plods along.

Semblance of Sanity
There is a weird, almost electronic music, feeling to this thing. It still rocks out. It’s an unusual number. It’s quite quirky. In some ways I’m reminded of David Bowie on this one. There are definitely hints of avante garde progressive rock, though.
King of Karaoke
With references to a lot of classic rock, this is an odd, but compelling tune. It’s a bit too quirky to land under classic rock, but the references are there.
Front Room
The uber British Kinks element is present here. This is more of a singer songwriter meets classic rock styled tune. It’s the most accessible number to this point in the set. Still, it’s Dave Davies, so it’s far from purely mainstream. It gets more hard rocking later in the tune.
Johnny Adams
The rocking grind on this one again comes close to metal, while also channeling White Stripes and maybe Neil Young.
Nosey Neighbours
There’s a lot of crunch on this cut. It’s easily the most mainstream, though. It’s catchy and a real rocker. It’s my favorite tune here.
Mindwash
The opening section here is very much like a punk rock piece. It drops to an acoustic driven roots rock section that’s quite bluesy. Then it powers up to metal meets punk. There are other dropped down moments here alternating with the rocking ones. There are also some cool guitar fills. This is one of the standout tunes.
Between the Towers
This has a real freeform element to it. It has sections that are closer to electronic music. Others land in more rocking sounds. It has some good vocal hooks that serve to hold it together, but this is a very strange tune.
In the Old Days
Punk and classic rock merge on this. It’s another of the more accessible pieces here. It works pretty well.
Through My Window
A psychedelic rock inspired number, this is fairly accessible. It’s more balladic than a lot of the rest. It is definitely Kinks like and very retro in texture.
 
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