Strangeways - 1994 And The Horse

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ARTIST: Strangeways
ALBUM: And The Horse
LABEL: John Henry Mgmt
SERIAL: JHM01001
YEAR: 1994

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Ian Stewart - vocals, guitars * David Stewart - guitars, bass, backing vocals * Jim Drummond - drums, percussion, backing vocals, mouth drum * Dave 'Munch' Moore - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Precious Time * 02 Man's Maker * 03 Out Of The Blue * 04 Through The Wire * 05 The Great Awakening * 06 Wonder Row * 07 Head On * 08 Some Of Us Lie * 09 Over You * 10 On

Background

With a massive reputation for quality AOR, Strangeways digress with this album.

Reflecting the many years of frustration and problems with record contracts wrangles, and copyright arguments, this album presents a deep and meaningful insight to a band disillusioned with the music industry's bureaucracy.

After the departure of lead vocalist Terry Brock, this album takes on a strong melodramatic feel that has a lot of similarities to Pink Floyd or Simple Minds.

The Songs

Long snaking tracks like 'Through The Wire' and 'Some Of Us Lie' that build a tortured and moody but still simple guitar line to a climax and provide for a moving experience. This is not the great AOR of their past, actually, it's not even AOR, but it is still great music.

There is great emotion in this album, not only real and true pain but also real and true hope. A photo on the back cover that shows a graffitied bus shelter with the comment 'I feel a bit normal today'. That comment sums up the attitude of this album; 'despite everything I am still here, and I have hope'.

In Summary

Other than the first track (which I absolutely just hate), the album is a mix of moody guitar landscapes. Ian Stewart takes over the vocals as well as sharing the guitar work with brother David who also does the bass.

Great melody blossoms with a keyboard guitar mix, and subdued vocals tell the story that is there to be told.

Despite my best intentions, I just love this album (sorry Ed..). Only a band like Strangeways could have produced a sulky album like this and come up with such an inspired performance.

Be forewarned and forearmed. Don't expect to hear material a la 'Native Sons' or 'Walk In The Fire'.


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