Sometimes you nourish high hopes if you open the cd-case of a new album. That was the case with the debut album A Deep Breath recorded by Randy McStine, also known as Lo Fi Resistance. With the help of drummer Nick díVirgilio (Spockís Beard) and his musical friends Dave Meros (bass on Too Simple), Rob Weinberger (flute and saxophone on Too Simple), Lloyd Landesman (synths and B3-solo on Too Simple) and Dug Pinnick (vocals and lyrics on Moral Disgrace) McStine wrote the music and the lyrics, played all the other instruments and recorded and produced this CD between April 2009 en January 2010. Did the album came up to my expectations? Well, after listening to A Deep Breath several times, I have to admit that this album contains some real great songs. Not all tracks are top-notch, but mostly I enjoyed both the music and the lyrics of which the latter are very important for me as a reviewer. I think Randy McStine is very talented both as a composer and as a musician.
The Grand Design, the short opener of the album, starts with soundscapes from a busy street, walking on steps and radio waves, suddenly followed by a short happy, beatlesque pop track named Hello New Star! Next song Embrace is the first symphonic sounding track that starts as a good imitation of a Spock Beardís tune. Itís a relaxing song with beautiful lyrics ending with a melodic guitar solo. The next song has no title; itís just signed as track 5 with a dot, but itís a nice modern progressive rock song containing some fine guitar solos. Simple only lasts one minute, but itís filled with nasty and dark soundscapes. The longest track Too Simple starts with an acoustic guitar and beautiful harmony singing in the vein of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. In the beginning itís a love song with exceptional fine lyrics. After a break in the middle-section, Rob Weinberger plays a flute solo followed by a duel between drums, bass beats, synths, guitar eruptions Ė in the vein of Galahad Ė and a pumping saxophone played by guest musician Weinberger. All We Have is a much easier song, unlike On My Own which is rather agitated. It seems as if McStine wants to sing faster than the already troubled musicians. Itís a pop song that could have been played by The Police. In Moral Disgrace the influence of producer Nick díVirgilio is evident. The final song Wasted, accompanied by an acoustic guitar and violins with again impressive lyrics is a good one either. This is a fine ending for this more than average rock album.
†***+ Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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