Davey Bandman isn’t one man but a band consisting of Mark Simmonds (vocals/rhythm), Joe Collier (drums), Chris Nixon (bass) and Joe Garrens (lead guitar). The band's recent release Every River showcases a solid, well-rounded indie rock band.
Every River is a complete DIY effort and overall is pretty impressive in regards to aesthetics. I will say that there were some minor things that pointed to it not being recorded in a professional studio. The snare with thin and the kick drum could have used a little bit of “oomph” but nothing too offensive. Overall, the songs shined through and I thought the guitar tones and textures were top notch.
The songwriting is pretty good but there were definitely some songs, which stuck with you and others that felt undefined and therefore forgettable. “Leave Me Lie” is a good example of the latter. It’s a solid, blue/rock hybrid but feels like you have heard it done before in similar ways by a copious amount of bands. Again there's nothing inherently wrong with the song but there is also nothing that makes it sink its teeth into your brain to make it stand out.
The first track, which was a standout, was “Tall Trees.” It starts off with a synth that I’m pretty sure was a sample from the first track of Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II. If it’s not a sample it’s the same exact patch. Either way I thought the vocal performance was one of the best of the album and the singer sounds similar to David Byrne at times. The vocal harmonies combined with the guitar work around the four-minute mark are exceptional.
The band has a slightly more mellow Red Hot Chili Peppers type vibe on “The Little Green Man That Lives In A Bush” while “Trouble With Jenny” is a raw, infectious song. The next to the last song on the album was the arguable highlight entitled “Tell Me.” It’s up there in terms of vocals and I thought the guitar and drum work was also notable.
Every River sometimes felt like it needed more energy. It’s hard to pinpoint where and it may come back to drum sound but some of the songs felt subdued from completely rocking out. Overall, it's a minor issue. The band surely has some potential and I thought Every River was an enjoyable EP. I think it will most likely be a precursor to the band’s most inspired material, which hopefully lies ahead.
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