A trip down to Joseph's Well a while ago saw me coming away with a 5-track demo CD from York/Leeds band Blueryder. How I managed to get hold of the CD I don't really know - it was an alcohol induced evening - but I think it had something to do with me talking to the venue owner Karl Baird. We discussed the latest demos the venue had been sent, and somewhere during the evening I must have been given a CD to listen to and review.
Anyway, following a disappointing opening track ("Real" - in which the band play quite a run-of-the-mill rock song that differs oh-so-slightly in it's delivery, technique and chord progression. It didn't appeal when it started and whilst it showed off the band's technical ability it did little for their song writing) the CD actually improves ten fold.
The second track immediately grabbed my attention. A gentle inspiring opening, the song gives an almost sitar sound (probably just slide guitar); "21st Century Roots" is just a pure moody arse of a song! A mix of Leonard Cohen and a bit of Dylan, it's the general vocal style and guitar sound that keeps your attention throughout. Nice one, I do like this song.
"Gaining Ground" is probably musically situated somewhere between the first two songs. More of a rock song, with threats of wah solos but this is much more structured and happening that the opening song. And therefore is enjoyable to listen to. Again talented guitarmanship (evident throughout the CD) and yet another style to the vocals. Equally impressive.
A mix of blues/folk/rock sees fourth track "Morning Blues" bring us even more weird and wonderful guitar effects and there's an "almost acoustic" ballad to close.
To be honest I think Blueryder sound better when they're not trying to be so rocking. Though of course the opposite is probably true when the band play live, it's a tough decision and a fine line. If it weren't for the opening track I'd score their CD much higher, but for a demo you only get one chance - and I just think that the opening track is the least inspiring.