Review: The Commoners – Find A Better Way
Gypsy Soul Records (Friday November 4th, 2022)
Reviewer: Mark Jackson
Canadian swamproots rockers The Commoners‘ sophomore album ‘Find A Better Way‘ (yep, there is swamp in Canada and it’s called Muskeg) sounds like Transams,moosehead beer,black cat tobacco and you’re Fave Gal on a hot summer night.
Vocalist Chris Medhurst reminds me forcibly of excellent Bad Company/Ted Nugent singer Brian Howe with echoes of Robert Plant, thrown in for good measure and all the band weigh in with hearty performances.
Standout tracks for me are ‘Too Much‘ with it’s Johnny Winter/Jimmy Page style buzzsaw lumberjack riff,this track would be an excellent set opener. ‘Naturally‘, a bluesy ride with great arrangement and female backing vocals, and ‘Alive‘ with it’s huge melody, a great album finale.
The production is good and crisp, but for me at times a little keyboard heavy. I kinda wish guitarist Ross Citrullo had more airtime in the songs, he’s a fine player and being a Southern Rock nut, no guitar solo is too long in my book.
The female backing vocals really add soul and depth to the sound and maybe could have been used on more tracks.
This is a fine earthy, rootsy debut album, and possibly by going the Blackberry Smoke trail of intense touring, and putting thousands of miles of road dust on those boots, the band can produce their own version of the modern day classic Whipporwill, and this is a real good place to start the journey.
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