Monday, July 11, 2016
CRANSTON - S/T
LABEL: Rock Company
REVIEW BY: Alan Holloway
Cranston sees the intriguing pairing of rock legend Paul Sabu with perennial workhorse Phil Vincent. Apart from when he was with Legion, Vincent tends to work alone, so I was interested to see what would happen to his sound when co writing with Sabu. The thing is, Sabu’s other recent release, (a pairing with Vince O’Reagan), was pretty poor, so fingers were crossed, especially as Vincent’s solo work has been getting better and better.
The good news here is that Paul Sabu is not the main vocalist here. This may seem like an odd thing to say, but the O’Reagan album showed that his voice is really not what it was. Phil Vincent, however, has always had a decent voice and leads the way with Sabu providing backing as well as all the instruments except drums.
So we come to the music itself, which is the whole point. Although written by the two guys this does come across very much as a Phil Vincent album, no doubt helped by his vocals. The thing is, it doesn’t come across as one of his best, and feels like a step back to the days when he was good rather that very good. The songs are melodic yet guitar heavy, and whilst they’re never bad there’s something missing that would turn this from a good album to a great one. It falls down a little at the end, with the last three tracks seeming to last twice as much as they do. Seriously, as ‘Sea Of Madness’ fell into a repetitive end sequence I had to check it wasn’t a seven minute epic. It isn’t. It’s a bit of a shame, as up to then there’s some pretty decent tracks, notably opener ‘Long Long Way To Go’, ‘See You One The Other Side’ and ‘Fallen’.
‘Cranston’ contains enough cool rock tracks to satisfy a fan of Phil Vincent, but they may be disappointed that there’s not a few more. I would have liked to hear some of the more punch tracks (such as ‘Let It Go’) sung by an in for Paul Sabu, so here’s hoping that the Vince O’reagan album was a one off. Maybe for Cranston II they can switch roles.