Spirit of Unicorn 2022
From talking sports to rocking the boat, Birmingham polymaths aims for hattrick and finally scores.
It’s been a steady ascent for Ian Danter whose 2013 debut "Prove You Wrong" exposed him as a pretender rather than contender and whose 2015’s sophomore effort "Second Time Around" showed not only promise but also progress. That’s why putting the “third time’s the charm” tag on “Rule Of Three” – this album’s witty title and cheeky cover notwithstanding – would be wrong, indeed, as the platter’s muscular ‘n’ glamorous hard rock is a result of hard work on the Brummie’s part. With his multi-instrumental approach, vocal arrangements and songwriting skills upped in the last seven years, the popular radio personality reigns, if not rules, the waves now, the catchiness of his tunes a testament to the expanse of talent.
Danter doesn’t need to build a lot of tension to let it loose on opener “One Over The Eight” and see a serrated riff raze the field to the groove he lays down on bass and drums before taking the cut’s chorus onto the arena for call-and-response and pushing the hefty bottom-end to the fore for a chunky funky rhythm on “Fine Time To Die” with seductive fervor. No surprise, then, in the heavy rock ‘n’ rolling of “Massive Passive Aggressive” where a start-stop drive invites the listener to join in the fun, nor in the effervescent throb of “I’ve Got A Problem”, while the serious, glacial glimmer of “Pick A Side” and pulsing social commentary of “Generation Z” can startle a funster, despite the allure of Sam Wood and Glenn Quinn’s axes. The pull intensifies on “Landscapes” thanks to the acoustic flutter of Ian’s piano and 12-string guitar and, of course, his serenading vocals, contrasting the metal angst and anger behind “Route Of All Evil” and the bluesy “Whatever Happened”
And though “I Was There” presents a scintillating stampede in its dynamic assault, the finale of “Last Chance Wagon” – a blast from the artist’s past – runs the gamut of entertaining tropes with much gusto. In other words, it’s a goal.