Song List: Five Out of Four, A Nail In My Head, Life is Passing By, (the Clown) And The Giant Other Side, Don’t Let Them
The Barclay and Ichinose debut album pulls influences ranging from 60’s and 70’s rock, as well as some punk, all mixed into a blender of sound. “Five Out of Four,” the opening song on the EP has an interesting sound, but can be hard to follow. Drummer Randy Ichinose seems to channel the ghost of Keith Moon, which beyond the context of The Who is oftentimes challenging to the album’s musicality.
“Nail In My Head” begins with an exciting pedal to the metal guitar riff played by Joe Barclay. It seems to indicate the start of an energetic anthem. The song takes a disappointing turn, as the adrenaline rush drops off and the song takes on the feel of a poor man’s rendition of The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues.” The lead guitar picks things up a bit, but isn’t enough to save the song.
While Barclay and Ichinose come across as gearheads, listing their equipment on their website, their musicianship doesn’t always live up to a gearhead’s expectation. The band strives to emulate their idols (including The Who, Pink Floyd, and The Kinks), but this debut EP is at times a bit of a noisy mess. Ichinose’s crash cymbals, alone, overpower the songs from time to time. Barclay’s voice seems to be somewhere else sometimes, coming across distant, disconnected, and not matching the energy of the instrumentation.
The strongest song on the EP is “(the Clown) And the Giant Other Side.” This song’s production is the strongest, as is the performance; the songwriting is more mature, the sound more cohesive. If this song is indicative of the band’s future course, they are on the right track.