The Gracious Few - 'The Gracious Few'

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The Gracious Few - 'The Gracious Few'

The Gracious Few could be one of those rock bands who become all things to all men. Very impressive indeed.

This one is another band that can tiptoe around the tentative 'supergroup' tag - The Gracious Few is the name of the new band put together by three former LIVE members, guitarist Chad Taylor, bassist Patrick Dahlheimer and drummer Chad Gracey. This trio teamed up with vocalist Kevin Martin and guitarist Sean Hennesy of Candlebox and The Gracious Few is the result.

If you aren't a fan of either of the aforementioned acts, they managed to shift about forty million albums between them before LIVE took an extended break and Candlebox went silent after 2008's 'Into The Sun'. This union between the members of both bands sets out it's stall to kick ass, with a view to capturing raw, powerful hard rock. With Jerry Harrison producing, famed for his work with Foo Fighters and No Doubt, did they manage it? The result is an emphatic yes.

I hadn't really had any exposure to Candlebox or LIVE before so I went into this not knowing what I was going to get. The answer is a brooding, hard rocking debut which meshes modern rock with classic rock. That ends up with a finished result which sounds perfectly suited to be heard in today's climate, but carries a lot more underneath that makes someone with my tastes appreciate it, an area so many modern rock bands fail.

'Appetite' is a classic opener, slowly building up before exploding into a pounding riff driven monster. 'Honest Man' holds it's own and the band sound like they've been together forever. The drumming from Gracey is excellent, there's great bass work from Dahlheimer and the guitar work from Hennesy and Taylor drive things forward. Kevin Martin's vocals are marvellous - he has a versatile voice with some high notes reminding me of classic Robert Plant, and some of his more mellower moments offering tinges of Doogie White or Terry Brock.

'The Rest Of You' is very worthy of note, as is one of my favourites on the album, the dark yet catchy 'Nothing But Love'. 'Crying Time' certainly has hit potential to my ears with it's pumping bassline and mellow vocal. It's a very strong debut record and the only thing I could level as a criticism would be I think it's just a little bit too long at an hour - I'm old school in my tastes, I like a record to be around the forty five minute mark. If they'd chopped two songs this debut would be hard to beat. But even with twelve songs (the twelfth actually has a hidden extra song at the end of it) and an hour's running time, there's nothing that I could call filler on there.

It's also one of those albums that gets better with repeated listens, so there's every chance I'll re-read this review a few weeks down the line and regret that comment about it being too long. Bottom line - this is a terrific, modern album with plenty to impress those who maybe would shirk the more current bands. The Gracious Few could be one of those rock bands who become all things to all men. Very impressive indeed.

James Gaden

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