A LITTLE BLOOD
They start off strongly enough with the bludgeoning rock of Cheating Heart which has some exciting key changes and promises to be a live favourite. It's followed by A Little Blood which has the anger of early Elvis Costello and features a fine tortured guitar solo before the band slam into The Crow’s Caw which sounds like an outtake from Blue Oyster Cult with its streamlined guitars and pummelling piano. By this point the listener might be wondering why The Whybirds are considered to be part of the UK’s alt.country movement and this is rammed home with the pulsating beat of the next song The Cure which is rousing but with its stadium chorus and mellotron is far removed from any of the classic bands that they have been compared with in the past. There are a brace of songs which delve into classic American roots rock with The Band Counts Four a fine loose-limbed number with an attractive country-rock chug, southern organ and a Georgia Satellites feel. Kick packs a powerful 12-string fuelled punch while Before I Let You Down does have a Tom Petty raunchiness about it. Unfortunately they are surrounded by several songs that lack originality in the lyrics and the delivery including Nobody Knows Me which is cliché after cliché. As I said earlier some judicious trimming of four or five of the less well-executed songs would have left this album trimmer and fighting fit.