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Album Review: The Whybirds - Cold Blue Sky (Little Red Recording)

By Allan Wilkinson - Posted on 31 May 2010

Alt-country rockers The Whybirds' second record and follow up to their self-titled debut of 2008, once again demonstrates the band's no nonsense approach to hard-rocking Americana, despite the band coming from Bedford. Produced by Tom Peters (Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band), COLD BLUE SKY maintains a distinctive sound throughout even though the songs included are divided almost equally between the four songwriters in the band.

Faithful to the energy of a Whybirds live gig, the band refuses to hold back on the volume and the full blown semi-grunge thrust of solid rock chords form the basis of this record. The opening song, Taff Thatcher's Glow, takes on the familiar tempo changing precident exemplified by some of Grunge's pioneers such as The Pixies, Pearl Jam and Nirvana but with a distinctly country flavour. 

The more laid-back acoustic songs form a welcomed counterpoint to the rock driven bulk of the album. Luke Tuchscherer's plaintive Morva, a tale of unrequited love and the resulting refuge of substance relief is handled in an altogether soothing manner. Not the usual sort of lyrics from the drummer of a band. Likewise, the title track Taff Thatcher's Cold Blue Sky borrows from Neil Young's Harvest Moon in style and provides the jewel in this particular crown.

The only collaborative composition on the album, the Banks/Tuchscherer co-written Wild, Wild Wind alludes to the rock n roll notion of self discovery, getting away from the proverbial small town and hitting the road. With Dave Banks and Ben Haswell sharing guitar duties, Taff Thatcher on bass and Luke Tuchscherer on drums, The Whybirds seem to be hitting the road quite a lot and are steadily gaining a reputation as one of the hardest working bands in their field. Having had initial sessions involving acclaimed producer Elliot Mazor, whose credentials include Neil Young, Janis Joplin and The Band no less, the band's reputation continues to spread in a notably healthy manner.

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky

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