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Deckard - Holy Rolling

  by John Clarkson

published: 26 / 9 / 2004

Deckard - Holy Rolling
Label: Deckard
Format: CDS


Solid new seven song EP from Scottish guitar rockers Deckard, let down by a poor choice of title track

Deckard have released one of the guitar rock albums of the year with their second album, 'Dreams of Divinity and Dynamite'. It is, therefore, a great pity that the Scottish West coast act have chosen that album's one piece of filler, 'Holy Rolling,' as the title track for their new EP. Deckard have always beenat their most effective and best when they have taken the time to evolve their ideas slowly, gradually building layer upon layer on to their punchy, big-sounding tunes to bring them up to surging, powerful conclusions. Hard-on-the-nerves, equally hard-on-the-ears, 'Holy Rolling', while more experimental, has, however, none of this, instantly throwing up abrasive, harsh guitars against an oddly nasal and distorted vocal from frontman Chris Gordon with jarring effect. "I will adore you more than ever before" sings the usually reliable Gordon enthusiastically, but the tune staggers under this early blow and all in all it is a case of far too much too soon. Much better are the other six remaining tracks on the EP, all of which have been previously unreleased. 'Nothing More', 'By the Harbour' and 'Sleepwalk' find Deckard on familiar, but solid territory with Gordon's tales of love and loss recalling both Radiohead with their angst and melodism, and also the crackling energy and dynamism of classic early 80's era Rush. Best of all, however, is 'The Truth Will Do', which shows that Deckard in the right circumstances are more than capable of pulling things off in a new direction. Essentially a country ballad, but one with hard-edged guitars, it has Gordon duetting with special guest Tobey Torres, the gutsy former singer with now defunct Glaswegian heavy rock act, the Snake River Conspiracy. "I gave you 20 years and children too/Was there something else I was supposed to do" sings Torres at Gordon, who plays her feckless, wanderlusting husband. They both poignantly capture the hopeless, desperate isolation of a long-term relationship on the slide, and in which its protagonists no longer have anything in common. Lastly there are two live numbers recorded at the Glaswegian launch gig for 'Dreams of Divinity and Dynamite' in April of this year. The first, frenzied punk song 'Rearrange You', comes from 'Love Your Self Abuse', the second and final album by Baby Chaos, Deckard's previous incarnation, while the latter, exuberant and soulful rock 'n' roll number 'What Reason', is taken from the band's debut under the Deckard moniker, 'Stereodreamscene'. Both albums have been long difficult to get a hold of , and 'Stereodreamscene' was only released in America. While providing something for completists, each track also serves to show how much the increasingly epic-sounding Deckard have developed over the last decade since first forming as Baby Chaos in 1993. With a running time of nearly half an hour, 'Holy Rolling' could be better described as more of a mini album than an EP. If one can get beyond Deckard's unfortunate choice of title track, it has a lot going for it and much to offer.

Track Listing:-
1 Holy Rolling
2 Nothing More
3 By The Habour
4 Sleepwalk
5 The Truth Will Do
6 Rearrange You (Live)
7 What Reason (Live)

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