Album review: IAN McNABB – Our Future In Space

IAN McNABB - Our Future In Space

Fairfield Records [Release date 08.03.19]

I will be honest I have not really followed Ian McNabb’s musical journey since 1994’s excellent ‘Head Like A Rock’ he did with Neil Young’s band Crazy Horse. He’s been regularly releasing albums and touring with the Icicle Works or solo, which brings us to this rather fine album. He is joined by his friends from Cold Shoulder, bassist Andy Lord-Ashton and guitarist Christopher Kearney, who are joined by drummer Steve ‘Smiley’ Barnard (The Alarm).

The album fair kicks down the proverbial door and then proceeds to trash your lounge, as the first four songs rock hard, all driven by the fiery guitar work of McNabb. ‘I Can See Tomorrow’ is hard hitting in both sound and lyric, whilst ‘Supermoon’ has a catchy chorus and a whiff of the 60’s about it. ‘Medicated Emma’ is a harrowing tale of a junkie, however the crashing guitars, percussion and piano on the chorus make for a great tune. Oh and it has one of the guitar solos of the album. Last of fearsome foursome opening the album is ‘Reeperbahn’, another one built around a big riff and tight rhythm section.

It is not all hard rocking, as ‘Makin’ Silver Sing’ is a gentle tune about the everyday life of the live music scene, from the up and coming band through to the superstar, via the old trooper who was once in a band in the 70’s who supported Hawkwind.

There is a surprising choice of cover, ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears, which sounds like it shouldn’t work but it does, with Neila Bradley’s backing vocals adding a nice touch.

‘Aquamarine’ was co-written with R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, who also plays 12 string guitar on the song and with only McNabb’s vocals, it is one of the album’s most stripped back songs and a stand out. Definite hint of the Byrds on this one.

Note to self, pay more attention to Ian McNabb’s solo work as ‘Our Future In Space’ is a barnstormer of an album. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


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