14 Dec The Package – Simon Sweetman
The Dylan Storey Band – Bones
Here’s something different – The Dylan Storey Band – featuring the titular character on guitar and vocals (alongside Chris Dunn, bass; Cole Goodley, drums; Billy Squire, Hammond organ, piano and Fender Rhodes) are an Auckland-based combo doing the retro thing; but it’s not all angular riffs and post-punk strutting. No, no, no, this album sees a return to the jam-band sound as popularized by The Allman Brothers and The Grateful Dead. But, it’s all nicely controlled as well – so we don’t head out in to the unctuous seas of The Dave Matthews Band, nor do we have to tolerate 20-minute guitar/organ duels. At the heart of this album are some very nice, sharp, deceptively simple songs (Best And The Worst, Django Song, Old Soldiers and the title track particularly); compositions that recall work by Robin Trower, Elvis Costello and mid-70s Dylan – or, in more modern terms, there are traces of Wilco (especially on the purloined chord-sequence that propels Old Soldiers) and The Arcade Fire. Textures are layered nicely over the songs, but nothing feels too deliberate. Essentially this is the organic sound of a band being a band: jamming songs out, fleshing riffs and ideas in to hook-laden compositions. No exercise in style over content; here in fact it’s quite the opposite – the form dictates and so there are excursions in to acoustic slide blues, Jethro Tull-esque folk-rock and modern alternative music that draws on a blues-rock heritage…the band Gomez comes to mind. What I liked most was the fact that you can feel the distinct lack of posturing. And for once that’s a really good thing.