BROMHAM, DEL - Nine Yards - CD - Angel Air Records - 2013
Del Bromham was (and possibly still is) the guitarist of
Stray - a UK, hard rock band that emerged in the 1970s (you can read more about
it in our review of the Stray release in issue #70). The material in this
second, solo release is quite different from Stray's material, though. While it
relies on similar, basic foundations of blues, it emphasizes them at the
expense of the hard rock vibe and its wall of sound which was loaded with
distortion and other effects.
The production is clean and minimalist, appropriately giving
the songs a natural, unpolished feel, allowing the casual man lyrics to echo
clearly on their way to the listener, and the guitar playing to be absorbed
with all its subtleties (mostly these of Bromham picking). "Bills,"
for examples, showcases the strength of Bromham's performance: when he sings
"Bills, bills, bills, / coming through my door. / So much paper, it's hard
to see the floor" to a naked, blues styled guitar picking, you soon find
yourself relating as this is pure authenticity (and one which could not have
come from a rock star).
There is quite a variety when it comes to the blues rock
styled approached here. "Walking Down The Road" relies on slide
guitar playing, "Everybody Has To Sing The Blues" shares a common
theme with Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama," "Words"
is a boogie rock song, "What Comes Around" is a duet piece (featuring
Cherry Lee Mewis), and "You Don't Know How I Feel" is one of a few
numbers here that puts rock back in the center of things (including a robust
bass playing, also by Bromham, who plays all of the instruments here bar the
drums, played by Stray's Karl Randall).
On "Smiling Face" and "Father And Daughter,
Mother And Son" there is a monotonic keyboard line which does not quite
belong with the gentle, blues themes, detracting a bit from the songs; but
other than that Nine Yards is an honest album, filled with simple, low profiled
songwriting, played from the heart to the heart. (7.5/10)
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