First In Space “In The Red”
Ohio based First In Space has streamlined their sound from those early days where they were akin to The Gin Blossoms mixed with a touch of Bon Jovi. The production is more intimate, less “arena-oriented” and more focused on a solid melody. “Letters From Hell” is an excellent opener, featuring the crisp harmonies of Johnny Stanec and Dolus McCormick. “Return To Sender” is just as strong, with a wicked guitar solo at the break. “Forward Progress” is proof of this band’s new maturity when they sing the lyric “Every bridge I ever burned became a lesson to be learned…”
The positive vibe flows from the band, and it makes for excellent listening. Additional highlights include “A Captive’s Point Of View,” and “Now Or Never.” Even the grand finale “The Prescription” doesn’t feel labored or forced, so pick this one up. Highly Recommended.
Garfields Birthday “You Are Here”
The Felton Brothers (Shane and Simon) return and are joined by Alan Strawbridge (Schnauser/The Lucky Bishops) as guest drummer. The lead track “Magic Bike,” has great bass line along its psyche-pop melody with a quick catchy beat. The duo’s very British harmonies are quiet good, a bit like classic Chad and Jeremy. “Fancy Dress” bounces along like a hippy B-side with its “ba-ba-ba” chorus, but the tempo slows to crawl on “I’m A Star Tonight” which drags on past 4 minutes.
But the Feltons have many tricks up their collective sleeve and the Kinks/Monkees vibe is all over “It’s Your Lucky Day” and the trippy “Lunar Eclipse” is a lot of fun too. “Radio” is a short gem about those radio program directors who play the “same old song on the same old show.” It closes out on two great tracks, the fast moving “Sunday Best” and the majestic “Water (Looks Like Rain)” the gentle chorus “Everything’s beautiful to me…” has a soulful guitar bridge running underneath it. If you dig those mellow ’60s grooves, pick this one up.