Baron 1975 / Out-Sider 2016
Charge of the heavy brigade: Houston trio who rode into the sunset but left an impressive imprint.
They may ride broncos down in Texas, but it’s rarely a heavy gallop. Not in the case of this group, though, whose only album could give British bands a run for their hard rock money. Running the gamut from affairs of the heart to political affairs of the day, the trio trade in epic performances here yet they eschew pathos that could be requisite for teenagers, although the cinematic drama of “The War Song” has the same weight as “A Woman Like You” which is, understandably, closer to home.
With killer riffs of the 17-year-old Tim Williams supported by Paul Eakin’s powerful bass and George Lasher’s well-measured drumming – and groove tightly wrapped around the melodies – the gloomy, sometimes angry, atmosphere still lets lots of air in, clever production giving the result a loose feel. While solos come exquisite, there’s no escaping the straightforward merriment of “Captain Boogie” where another dimension, opened up by a complex interplay, is almost palpable, yet “Stud” the track is completely out there. Stacked on top of each other, six-string layers reach for the skies but, anchored by the rhythm section, fall to the depths of despair, as screams serve as soundscape for such a chthonic jam, whereas the acoustically spurned “Jim/Blues” is taking its finely textured funky charge less seriously.
A progressive pleasure from start to finish, now this album – of which only 200 copies were pressed originally – is bound to belatedly win the race.