www.dannybeardsley.com [Release date 20.09.19]
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in to your ageing album collection – frustrated that much new stuff merely recycles the old and not as convincingly – along comes an album to defy jaundiced expectation.
We first became aware of Danny Beardsley as the guitarist in instrumental trio The Parallax Method. Their album – released in 2015 – was both intricate and compulsive. Now Danny has stepped out of his comfort zone to release a debut solo piece. And it’s fantastic.
This album is characterised by some great, straight-ahead songs, an excellent vocal (that references Alter Bridge’s Myles Kennedy) and some wonderful guitar-ing.
Any of these tracks will take your fancy if you like melodic, mainly riff-driven rock embellished with lovely little touches – mostly Beardsley’s guitar figures. The overall effect is one of consummate class, not always the norm when produced and engineered independently – and on a budget.
There’s a superb groove that permeates the album. The opener ‘Accept Defeat’ starts with a deceptively simple blues motif and continues with gritty riffage interspersed with a rolling acoustic verse before an even tastier breakdown section. ‘Behind Enemy Lines’, ‘Some Kinda Love’ (shades of Kings X here) and ‘Never Too Late’ are typically characterised by thoughtful guitar embellishment whilst the latter has a particularly good vocal.
The title track ballad, surprisingly, is perhaps the weakest on offer here although no doubt it will grow in time. It is edged by the other big ballad ‘Nothing Left To Give’ (and ‘Wilt Away’) but this is soon redeemed by the excellent ‘Breathe’ (an obvious single) and ‘This Fool’ (the early single).
Beardsley has been working away for a decade – in addition to The Parallax Method he fronted Derbyshire-based metallers Isolysis and subsequently formed the semi-prog Emperor Chung – and in 2019 his time may have finally come. Leave that old vinyl alone and welcome the new(ish) kid on the block. ****1/2
Review by David Randall
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