Recording records under this name since 1986, Neil Saloman has carved out a modest space for himself. There are records under other guises since the late 70s. Is there a place still for this loud (classic) rocker who is not afraid to serve a delicate ballad with Hammond organ, acoustic guitar and all? I would say yes, unequivocally.
The Bevis Frond does not take the easy road by copying Deep Purple or Black Sabbath. For that the element of the 80s rockbands is too highly present. As well as soloing right through it all like on the one hand Neil Young does and on the other Slash. Two guitars battling it out: one in my left ear, the other in my right. One in a deeper register, the other wailing away. Both totally going for it, seemingly oblivious of the other's existence, yet blending perfectly. The duels give several songs on We're Your Friends, Man something exciting as well as a deeper layer of inner tension. So the alternative rock of the Boston bands from circa 1990, Dinosaur Jr. and Buffalo Tom are not far away here either.
There is a downside to this album. With 20 songs it is extremely long. Somewhere halfway I am totally served, content and full. It is not the quality of the songs that follow, simply too much to take in one go. Yes, I realise that I'm writing the same comment in two days. Yet this is different. I want to hear more, just not now. With City and Colour's live album I had had my fill after ten songs. So, I simply start We're Your Friends, Man at song 11 next time I play it. Following this adventure further down the road.
The Bevis Frond is an obscure name in the history or rock bands. This new album will most likely not change this position. Yet, if you like alternative rock I would give this album a chance. Chances are you will make a discovery with loads to discover in the back catalogue.
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