I have to say it was obvious to me within the first couple of minutes of listening to Back To The Sea E.P by Beyond Our Will that at least one of the two members (John Bootle – guitar/bass/keys and Dave Ellis – vocalist) was playing music in the late ‘70s or earlier. There is something about the initial music you're exposed as a musician that burrows itself in the reservoirs of our brain that never leaves. Did anyone ever think the new Keith Richards album would the most prolific dubstep album this year? Of course not, you kind of had an idea of what the blues based album would sound like.
This isn’t meant to be a criticism in any way, it just an observation. In fact I like the idea I was able to sense that this music came from musicians who actually were around during the ‘70s and early ‘80s. In a weird almost intangible way it sounds more authentic coming from veterans rather than twenty-year-olds trying to mimic the sound. I thought the production and recording quality was solid throughout. The songs have a raw, live feel to them. One thing I did notice was the last song was significantly softer than the other tracks. This issue can easily be resolved by having the song remastered.
The EP opens with “Chase The Blue Sky” which is solid psychedelic that tips its hat to Pink Floyd. You get to indulge in reverb laced guitar solos and arpeggiated synths. The song is like one constant flow of sound that evolves and devolves over time rather than a more standard verse/chorus/verse.
The second track “Back to The Sea” is still psychedelic but slower and darker. I especially enjoyed the lead guitar part towards the beginning. You don’t hear a single word until after the midway point. Anybody else hear a bit of Led Zeppelin in there when he starts singing? Once the explosive riffs arrive and Ellis starts talking it feels like impending doom. I liked it! “No Answers” is a crunchy ‘70s inspired classic rock song while the closer reaches impressive heights and touts a killer bass line.
Back To The Sea E.P has a lot more inspired moments than minor mishaps and that’s enough for me to give it the thumbs up. Recommended.
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