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Requestone Records (label)
24 February 2017 (released)
“To be content within our dreams, with no doubts, no in-betweens…” is the opening line to the album’s intro track ‘All Opinion Will Eventually Change’ sung over ethereal sonic clouds before Lammin can be heard plugging away oh so gently on his slide guitar, dreamy sitars and tablas in the background. Before you know it we’re already in the midst of track 2, an instrumental number titled ‘Silver White Shadow’. Almost seamlessly it then glides into ‘Lost And Falling’ and a distinctly 60’s psychedelic feel prevails throughout. One can’t help being reminded of artists like John Cale, which is a good thing of course!
‘Last Night I Dreamt I Met My Enemy’ kicks off in finest Delta-blues mode (with Part 1 being purely instrumental) before Lammin’s sandpaper voice ponders on Part 2: “Last night I dreamt I met my enemy and I shook him by the hand…” It’s a powerful number this, not only is musical terms with it’s slightly tripped-out wah-wah echo but also lyrically speaking for it metaphorically addresses a multitude of issues from racism to faith and the general state of the world… considering it all, there ought to be a lot of (hand)shaking going on! Easily the strongest track on the album and one that would make the late Leonard Cohen proud! Brilliant guitar play too!
There’s a pleasantly groovy ring to the rather melodious ‘Value’ while the vocals for ‘Take More Care’ and ‘Is That Alright By You’ were completed in Dirty Stranger’s frontman Alan Clayton’s studio once Goodman had passed on. The two numbers are a wonderful exercise in restrained blues-rock skills and here Lammin’s gravely voice comes to particular good effect, with the latter number almost being danceable courtesy of a free-flowing yet harmonious psychedelic pop vibe and some inspired keys.
Lammin cranks up the blues factor in mighty fashion before sinking his breath into the riotous opening line “Bad Lieutenant…Harvey Keitel… Clockwork Orange… well, well, well…” on ‘Memo to Anita’. In my mind the track is a homage to the equally riotous Anita Pallenberg though whether it really is or not is actually irrelevant.
Right on! We have something of a gospel chorus here on ‘Mr. John Sinclair’ – a collaboration with the legendary MC5 manager, poet, political activist and occasional Bermondsey Joyriders collaborator. Wham, this one oozes anarcho spirit and oodles of mean guitar strumming – absolutely stonkin’!
The outro is a reprise of ‘All Opinion Will Eventually Change’ while at the same time it is also a testimony to Lammin’s brilliant sense of humour: by repeating this track he indirectly asks us whether our opinion of him may indeed have changed… Wicked! My opinion of him (and it was always a very good one to begin with) has, if anything, increased. This album is proof that Gary Lammin is not only capable of so much more but that he’s utterly confident of stepping out of his musical comfort zone. By doing so he takes us all by surprise – and most pleasantly so I may add!