Daviesteelman is the project for David Mudie. He recently released Where It All Began, a five- song EP, which has songs that span a twenty-year period. I have been doing this long enough to know when the artist says that the songs more often than not feel very separate. Even if there are great songs there is usually a gap in the cohesive quality that happens because the artists influences change, they get older, etc.
Although Mudie didn’t go too far into left field there did seem to be two specific areas he was exploring. The first one being prog rock from the ’70s and ’80s. There were certain songs and parts which brought up bands like Rush, Journey and Joe Satriani. The other half to this equation is the ethereal, cerebral qualities of bands like Pink Floyd which is the more predominant.
He opens with “Slab” which seems influenced by early to mid ’80s instrumental lead guitar music. It's a little more Van Halen and Joe Satriani than Pink Floyd but if you listen closely you can already tell the overlap is beginning to happen.
There are notable shifts in energy and tone on “Triplets.” The song embraces organ and feeds into the gothic sound that Meatloaf once attempted. I wasn’t crazy about the tones and textures of the instrumentation which veered towards basic midi sounds you heard all over in the place in the ’80s. The one element I really enjoyed was the vocals. Mudie has an attractive voice and a distinct English accent. Does the song justify its eleven-minute time frame? It’s arguable but could have worked multiple ways for me. There are some instrumentals sections which were solid and interesting but Mudie could also cut this down to a three- or four-minute pop song which would work as well.
“Rush Of Kings” is very serene and tranquil and really starts to dig deep into an undeniable Pink Floyd type of vibe from the lyrics to the instrumentation. I again really enjoyed the vocals. “Shadow Street Shuffle” is a tad more funky and festive.
“Grey Rocks” feels worlds away from where we started the EP. The song is extremely tranquil and serene to the point where the music itself could be considered new age. The other artist that came to mid was Brian Eno because of the ambient qualities to the song. I think the vocals were the winning factor for me here. I’m not normally a fan of spoken word sections but Mudie’s English accent lets him get away with it.
The songs were really well written and I think Mudie is a gifted vocalist and instrumentalist. Fans of the aforementioned genres should take a listen
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