Well the tables were certainly turned when our star contributor Brian McKay sent me over a copy of Mike Richards ‘Anything & Everything’. Here at black Flag towers we have a simple work ethic, we never review our friends material ourselves, so as to provide a totally unbiased review and also to save arguments;-) Brian being friends with Mr Richards passed his album onto me for review. So I did what I always do when reviewing new releases, I fired up the CD player and proceeded to cook a meal worthy of a king, while letting the music slowly seep into my consciousness.
The first track ‘Sensation Seeking Man’ begins and I’m hooked the moment the Harmonica kicks in, this is laid back Blues Rock at its finest. I like to listen to a band before I research them, so that I have no preconceived misconceptions. And from the word go I can hear that this is a very experienced, very tight band musically. And I’m right. The band are all experience and established musicians which clearly shows with some cracking instrumental harmony’s and almost lenny Kravitz-esque vocals.
Track 2 ‘Use Once Only’ has a very floaty feel to it, this is music that’s ideal for a Sunday afternoon BBQ. ‘Dreaming’ and ‘Out’ are both a bit more upbeat. The band play around with some very nice vocal distortion on the latter, which really works. I keep mentioning Lenny kravitz but I’d say the vocals definitely sound like a mix of Lenny Kravitz and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden fame.
Track 7 ‘One in a Million’ is probably my favourite off of the album. Lyrics about devotion and feeling helplessness, all carried along to a dreamy acoustic instrumental. You almost feel that mike is baring his soul to us, the listener and you cant help but feel his pain. This track is beautiful in its simplicity of using a tried and tested song writing formula that all of us can relate to.
All in all I quite enjoyed this album. Would I recommend it? Yes. Although if its hard rock your after this isn’t going to be your thing. ‘Anything & Everything’ is easy listening rock album that you don’t need to turn up to 11 to enjoy. It’s a very well-produced album and a damn fine example of good solid musicianship that’s best enjoyed over a beer on a summers day.