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Send in the Cavalry by The Good

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Reviewed on 8th March 2005.


Send in the Cavalry

By The Good

"Send in the cavalry from up above" request Australians Heather Barnes and Gareth Hudson of The Good. Sorry loves, no can do. As pleasant and tuneful your wholesome, chunky, trotting rock is, it doesn't quite merit an army's worth of snorting, steaming, sweating steeds galloping hell-bent down the mountainside with manes a-rippling and nostrils a-flaring. The title track of this EP is a trundling, solid affair with semi-confident vocals and a reasonably toe-tap-inducing rhythm propping it up, albeit weakly, at the bar. In order to capture this generic guitar riff I do believe that some poor minion was assigned the task of raiding Bon Jovi's cellar to dig out a tape of cuts that didn't make it to the studio, single out the most unconvincing flop from these anthologies and then set about transforming it into an even more embarrassing failure than it already was.

Enough! Let us be bright, chirpy, positive and encouraging. Constructive criticism please! 'Working Class Hands' is pretty, oh so pretty, with its moonlight-on-the-prairie strums and Barnes' syrupy, golden vocals shining out, rightfully, past those of Hudson. She has a hugely appealing country quivering, a sweet vibrato of the nostalgic, romantic kind, complementing the rich mahogany tones emanating from her acoustic bass. Her voice takes centre stage again for 'Move Along' which begins in a burst of shimmering promise and then, upon reaching the dwindling, descending chorus, finds itself running out of steam, the guitar solo feeling contrived, forcefully inserted as a necessary component.

'True What They Say' is built entirely upon a smart, snappy guitar part and the unsettling, wavering hums of a didgeridoo, an instrument they term a 'didge' in the sleeve-notes, teehee! However, this stamp of authenticity does nothing to throw anything wonderfully or organically earthy into the works; it merely fades, a limp watermark of a hopeful but useless effort at incorporating some sort of heritage.

Any fleeting moments of beautiful orange sunset present on this record are always obscured too soon by a sudden, suffocating nightfall. The Good are neither here nor there, neither original nor resolutely traditional. Instead, they reside in between these polarities, remaining sadly mediocre for it.



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