Storm and The Dales pulled together a great set of demos that are hidden gems of early classic rock, punk originals. The EP holds great promise for the future of quality music to continue, if only we could get guys like this on the radio.
"It's Not Me, It's You" worked out a Lou Reed/Velvet Underground jump jam. The guitar echos in the background and then takes the center for a brief few seconds, the ache in Dean's vocals are a bit of Paul Westerberg on his solo works. He's got a range of indie punk edges going on, but manages to engage the listeners to keep his own sound.
"Heart and Soul" starts out with the march of drums, and a Squirrel Nut Zippers twisted melody, that could have some New Orleans mischief in store. And twisted it is, with the lyrics reversing the idiom that one wears their heart on their sleeve to: "My heart and soul, you wear it on your sleeve, my heart and soul, won't you give it back to me." Fans on the Storm and The Dales site state that this song creates a smokey, tipsy atmosphere, including a Bolero vibe.
"The Boy Who Cried Wolf" is my favorite song of the collection. Even the kitschy, "wolf, wolf, wolf" phrase, I love it, because it brings out your crooked smile. The vocals are a low, confident, casual cool, and that's what we need when talking so seriously about boys who cry wolf. Say it straight, without apology. This is a danceable tune with a loose easy melody. It's very relaxing to hear, because it gives the listener choices. The guitar work on this and all of the songs is good, very understated, and places solid foundations for the songs to build. The bass-line is a solid singer songwriter style, almost a Gerry Rafferty throwback, which is quite a stumble upon to greatness in my book. "Once bitten twice (as) shy ... now known as one who tells lies ... " Ian Hunter and Great White would be jamming along too and these are no tall tales.
"Bad Little Girl" has been compared to something off of The Beatles' "Hard Day's Night," and I'd agree. I could also hear Alex Chilton singing along too, with some Kinks mixed in, because the song is whimsical, dark, rhythmic, catchy, pop and rock, all at the same time. Love the guitar bridge, it is sparse and keeps the focus on the background harmonies and vocals.
"No Love" rains with interest and has more special effects. A darker sound echos old school techno eras, the love songs of that time often embraced the ambiguous. Saigon Shredder is listed in the song credits.
From the biography: Storm and the Dales is the musical vision of Dean Smyth, a prolific songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in Dublin, Ireland. His music has taken him to London and back, and his countless collaborations with musicians from all over the globe have moulded his sound into what it is today.
Delusions of Grandeur, by Storm and The Dales
EP available on iTunes here.
Also available from Amazon here.