I’m no stranger to Eclectic Guitar as I have shared a few bills and beers with them, and over previous months I’ve lost count of the times that they said their EP was on the way.
Yet true to their word there it was in my inbox.
I thought I knew what to expect from “Waiting On The Shore”, but with ‘eclectic’ being one half of their name I should have known better.
The opening track – “Strange Old Game – was to be fair what I had expected from the band: a Knopfleresque song that could have come straight off “Love Over Gold” or the soundtrack from “Local Hero”. That’s not to say that it is a straight cut-and-paste of the Knopfler sound, but that it instead comes out of the same starting gates with the same passion attached to it.
Next up we take a walk down memory lane. “Sunny Hill” is a song about growing up in Greenock (sunny hill is in fact what ‘Greenock’ means). It starts by setting the scene: we go back in time with a visit to an Inverclyde town bustling with life and a trip to aunties house by the seaside. Then it brings us up-to-date with the now middle-aged narrator looking back on those better days when life was fine. The past and present clash comfortably together, albeit bitter-sweetly, and the acoustic guitar arrangement allows the lyrics to come through strong.
The title track “Waiting On The Shore” returns to what these guys do best. It’s got the band’s signature sound to it. There’s the twanging guitar accompanied with some reverb which helps the voices create a gentle atmosphere in a song of lost love. As songs go it’s well executed – some really excellent lead guitar breathes life into it and elevates it from being simply good to very good.
“The Clown Came In” brings a slightly different feeling to the EP with its prog- rock attitude accompanied by key changes and lyrics that could have been sung by Gabriel on an early Genesis album. In 2013 mentioning early Genesis could turn a few people off, but keep with it as there’s plenty of worth going on and it’s a fantastically produced track that’s expertly played, as is all of the EP.
Wrong-footing the listener again, another change of style emerges in “Sunrise Over Bluestown” as the guys blend bluesy lyrics with some country blues guitar.
Finishing off the EP is “Mistakes Were Made”, a folk ballad describing a relationship lost beyond all hope of repair. It’s a hauntingly mellow tune that draws the EP to a very nice conclusion.
I was starting to wonder if “Waiting On The Shore” was ever going to make an appearance, but it was certainly worth the wait.
“Waiting On The Shore” is available from April 20th.
Tommy Clark - Third Class Ticket