Stevie and The Moon - These Old Traditions Album Review
When the Reid brothers threw the R away on their 1987 debut album This Is The Story, to hear them proudly toting their Scottish burr was a minor revelation. Of course nearly two and a half decades later, generations of chippy provincial bands have made singing using received pronunciation about as fashionable as the deep fried Mars bar. Back then however - at the apex of Thatcherism - you need to understand that everybody was doing their best to sound American.
Steve McCrorie is similarly unafraid to treat us to some of that (Relatively) old fashioned Caledonian phrasing. Together with Matt Evans, Darren Scobie and Ross Duncan - presumably the Moon - he's also clearly a disciple of that crop of earnest and emotionally strident acts of the late eighties such as The Silencers or Del Amitri.
All of this makes navigating this debut EP (mini album) a little bit of a lesson in nostalgia. The almost title track Old Traditions has a lilting, quiet-loud feel, McCrorie hanging his dynamic voice around a song with genuine stadium rock aspirations. Add a little more finesse and there's ample proof he's also clearly a more than capable songwriter; the heartfelt We Take It Out constitutes an endangered species in these match.com times, the ballad, it's wistfulness echoing the doomed kitchen sink romances of fellow countrymen The Trashcan Sinatras.
As refreshing a break from the contemporary pop world of synth saturation as this is, we are however just one misplaced barre chord away from The Greatest Busking Album...Ever! As proof Born Again makes the avoidable mistake of confusing emotion for authenticity, one unfortunately repeated via the similarly misplaced eyeball-bulging commitment of Set This Fire. In fairness whilst neither could be considered essential, they're certainly no Belfast Child, but that's ultimately where the celtic-rock ride slammed to a halt last time around. McCrorie and co. should note that Bono was wise enough to get off long before that.