By Garron Frith
Manchester dwelling solo artist Garron Frith's debut, inspired by the likes of Ryan Adams, the late Elliott Smith and a several other usually cited solo artists has had much praise heaped upon him for his first demo release. Being rather fond of most things acoustic this guy sounded intriguing.
The 3 tracks on the CD throughout are melodic, well put together and are mostly acoustic with various other instruments floating in and out of the mix. First track "Ocean's Wide" has a Byrds-esque guitar led beginning which is also reminiscent of ex-Verve guitarist Nick McCabe's handiwork, for example, and on second song "Under My Skin" there's a pleasant sax solo, if you're into that sort of thing.
The main problem with these songs is that being so inoffensive they veer on the wrong side of dull. Frith has a very pleasant generic Radio 2 friendly voice and the same label could be aimed at his songs, but ultimately however well played or recorded they are, they're forgettable. Surprises are seriously lacking with each chord, the end of a lyrical phrase, or a guitar solo all too obvious and delivered just as you expect. With there being a large number of acoustic solo artists in this country you kind of expect a little more invention to stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately this is just what's missing.
It's not all bad news though as talent is definitely there, and remember, this is a debut. Future material has just got to aim a little higher.