# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Greg Graffin - Cold As The Clay

  by Adrian Huggins

published: 21 / 8 / 2006

Greg Graffin - Cold As The Clay
Label: Select Label
Format: CD


Heartfelt folk rock on debut solo album from Bad Religion singer Greg Graffin, which stands out in the current crop of punk/rock/hardcore acts with acoustic side projects

Now when skimming through the list of new releases available to me this month, a few things about the description of this album stood out. Mainly “Punk rock man”, “solo project”, “acoustic” “Bad Religion”. I say stood out, but what I really mean to say is that I read the said phrases and didn’t pay attention to the rest of the writing. Had I read in more detail the description of the album, and paid closer attention to what it was all about I may not have been so pleasantly surprised. So that is 1-0 to my laziness. Having thoroughly enjoyed the recent solo/acoustic offerings of Jonah Mantranga, formerly of Far, and the daily listening of Alexisonfire guitarist Dallas Green, aka City and Colour (get it?), I thought it would be worth a listen. I had my reservations though. It seems every front-man and guitarist in the recent crop of punk/rock/hardcore bands seems to want to have a little acoustic side project. Surely not all of these could work out or pull it off, and it does at times seem a bit on the self-indulgent side. I mean could you imagine Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue un-plugging and singing about how much he misses home. Or if one of the guys in Blink 182 decided to write some of his own stuff separately, just for it to sound more like Coldplay or U2…oh well, maybe forget that last example. Cynicism and self indulgence aside, 'Cold as Clay', however, does not fall into either category. This album is superbly crafted and features songs that would sound more at home on the 'O Brother Where Art Thou' soundtrack than the latest 'Punk-O-Rama' offering. It was, therefore, quite a surprise. This is true American folk music, banjos and fiddles included. Rather than releasing an album dedicated to his feminine side the Bad Religion front man Greg Graffin, best known for his band's politically motivated songs such as 'Let Them Eat War', '21st Century Digital Boy', 'Sinister Rouge' and 'Los Angeles is Burning', has gone back to his roots. He grew up listening to and playing folk and bluegrass music with his family. This was the music he loved and the style that developed his interest in music, until he discovered politics, bought a Sex Pistols album, and traded a bonfire for a garage. I suppose the rest is history, until now when, lucky for us, he has decided to release these magnificent songs. 'Cold as the Clay' consists of traditional folk songs such as 'California Cotton Fields', 'Talk about Suffering' and 'Little Sadie' along with several of his own compositions such as 'Rebel's Goodbye', the title track and 'Don’t Be Afraid to Run'. The beauty of this album and these songs is that you couldn’t tell which were the originals and which were the traditionally written songs. This is a real testament to Graffin's talents and love for the genre. It is a really intimate album that was recorded with close friends and fine musicians alike, and according to the album notes much of it was recorded in the traditional way of having everyone sat in a circle playing in a small room. This just hammers home how much this album was created to be the real deal and it truly pays off.The only thing missing from this album was a version of 'Constant Sorrow', and yes I did check the track listings as soon as I realised the genre. It really is a great album which perfectly capture a bonafide musician and keeps alive some timeless songs for yet another generation.

Track Listing:-
1 Don't Be Afraid to Run
2 Omie Wise
3 Cold As The Clay
4 Little Sadie
5 Highway
6 Rebels Goodbye
7 Talk About Suffering
8 Wille Moore
9 California Cotton Fields
10 Watchmakers Dial
11 One More Hill

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors