April Wine, Badfinger, Brian Greenway, Eugene B Sims, Greg Lake, Jerry Mercer, Jon Lowder, Judas Priest, King Crimson, Loverboy, Myles Goodwyn, Robert Plant, Steve Lang, Sugarloaf, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Triumph
I absolutely loved the selection from last week. Eugene and I were both taken aback by Jon‘s not liking it. Not only did he not like it, he “poo pooed” it, as Eug says. Well, let’s hit this week’s to see if Jon likes this one any better.
#8 – Harder…..Faster by April Wine.
Like most people, if I knew anything about April Wine, it’s “Just Between You and Me.” That’s a darn fine song, to be sure, but the band is so far beyond that. In fact, I would never have known it was the same band; even though it’s on the very next album. I had never heard anything else from them and didn’t think there was any way that the band that did that song could have been on any lists highlighting “hard rock.”
It took me a few listens through to get what was going on here. I’ll admit it seemed a bit thin in the beginning, but also I admit that I wasn’t actually listening, just feeling it out while I did other things. There’s a lot of different styles happening on this album. For example, you have the first song, “I Like to Rock,” that’s truly rocking and then following that comes “Say Hello” which is more power pop. It’s all through the album. The very melodic and easy going “Tonite” going into “Ladies Man” that is trying to rip your face off. Great juxtaposition. They get a little prog-rock, perhaps a bit too much, on “21st Century Schizoid Man,” but then again, they are covering a King Crimson tune I think nothing Greg Lake is in isn’t going to be proggy.
April Wine reminds me, at times, of another Canadian band, Loverboy. Not saying they sound the same, just comparable. Then, you add in some Badfinger or Sugarloaf-like harmonies and it starts to spread the spectrum and style. There’s pieces of Judas Priest, a little Robert Plant, and at times, some of yet another Canadian group, Triumph. Myles Goodwyn has some serious range as the lead vocalist. From what I can tell Brian Greenway does some vox, as well, but I think Goodwyn is the guy. As far as I can tell no one is standing out as doing anything flamboyant. That’s not a put down. Steve Lang has some cool bass lines, especially in “Better Do It Well.” Jerry Mercer is solid on the drums, too. He’s a pounder, for sure.
Some of my favorite tunes on this album are: “I Like to Rock” as it comes out swinging and then pays hommage to the Beatles and Stones by mixing “Day Tripper” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” “Say Hello” and “Tonite” are a great one-two punch for some laid back pop magic, possibly precursors to “Just Between You and Me” that came later. I love the chorus of “Babes in Arms,” too. The rest of the album is solid and I’m glad it’s on the list. I would recommend this, for sure. Let’s see what Jon thinks and hear Eug’s thoughts. Thanks, Eug. Are you a fan of it, Dear Reader? Drop me a line and let me know.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Let’s go out and paint the town and we could turn the world around. If you say you agree, yeah, well that’s the way that it’ll be.” – “Say Hello” (Goodwyn)