GRAHAM BONNET BAND – Meanwhile, Back In The Garage [Japan Edition] (2018)
The GRAHAM BONNET BAND will release next July 13 its new album, “Meanwhile, Back In The Garage“, via Frontiers Music. This Japanese Edition will hit the streets tomorrow.
This new studio album offers new songs where Bonnet – in very good form – lays down his inimitable vocals over a selection of tunes full of great hooks and melodies.
The Graham Bonnet Band have capitalised on the success of their first album, ‘The Book’, and Graham Bonnet’s triumphant contribution to the Michael Schenker Fest by quickly following up with ‘Meanwhile, Back In The Garage’.
Bonnet has continued his habit of writing songs that are a bit off-kilter to the normal Rock topics, this time covering a multitude of subjects such as gun law, reincarnation and death.
In conjunction with this atypical subject matter, the music is not quite solely Hard Rock and not quite Progressive – instead, it’s a platter of interesting heavy-ish tracks featuring Bonnet’s unmistakable voice.
The album certainly rings of the ’80s Alcatrazz years. There are riffs galore (e.g. on ‘Incest Outcest U.S.A.’ and the Steve Vai-esque ‘The House’) to add weight to the Alcatrazz reference; the change of pace and unusual verse patterns hark back to those days.
Bonnet has mentioned that he sees Russ Ballard as his talisman since the success in 1979 of ‘Since You Been Gone’, (the solo hit that never was), ‘S.O.S.’ and minor hit ‘Liar’.
In recent years, Ballard supplied the epic ‘My Kingdom Come’ which became the first official release from The Graham Bonnet Band. To keep the tradition going, Ballard has penned for this new album the killer track ‘Livin’ In Suspicion’ – and if this was thirty years ago, it would have been a hit!
The album also contains a cover in the shape of ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’ (Tina Turner / Mad Max movie) which, although a slightly strange choice, actually comes over pretty well.
Throughout, skilled guitarist Joe Tafolla spices up the album as his fast and bright playing adds to the songs without dominating them, while Kurt James supplies adept guitar work in the aforementioned ‘Livin’ In Suspicion’.
Major kudos must go to fellow Alcatrazz-ian Jimmy Waldo with the keyboards being very up-front in the mix, thus providing that special touch to proceedings. The energetic rhythm pairing of Mark Benquechea and Beth-Ami Heavenstone create the bedrock for the at times complex songs to take shape.
As for Bonnet’s voice, it is instantly recognisable; anyone who knows Bonnet in the studio will testify that he gives his all and this comes over on this album, which is an astonishing fifty years after his first hit – ‘Only One Woman’.
The power is still there, but he knows how to control it during the quieter parts (like the start to the big ballad ‘The Crying Chair’).
This spectacular new album proves that the previous ‘The Book’ was not a fluke; with another European tour this summer, The Graham Bonnet Band are certainly here for some time to come.
01 – Meanwhile, Back In The Garage
02 – The Hotel
03 – Livin’ In Suspicion
04 – Incest Outcest U.S.A.
05 – Long Island Tea
06 – The House
07 – Sea Of Trees
08 – Man On The Corner
09 – We Don’t Need Another Hero
10 – America…Where Have You Gone?
11 – Heading Toward The Light
12 – Past Lives
13 – The Crying Chair
14 – Starcarr Lane (Live From Daryl’s House 2018)
15 – Livin’ In Suspicion (alt. version) (Japan Bonus Track)
Graham Bonnet – Vocals
Joey Tafolla – Guitars
Kurt James – Guitars (track 3)
Beth-Ami Heavenstone – Bass
Jimmy Waldo (Alcatrazz) – Keyboards
Mark Benquechea – Drums