From The Ground Up
An electric guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, harmonica, violin, French horn, glockenspiel, ebow, bass and drums are just a small sample of the instruments used by Shady Bard. This on it's own makes for what will be an interesting record in itself.
Shady Bard with the release of their debut Album have achieved something that many artists dream of. In the shape of From The Ground Up Shady Bard have produced an honest, raw album that can be explained by so many words yet it seems that none are enough. Soul Reaching, amazing, intense, inspiring, original and not forgetting the most important that will only be realised when you have sat back and listened to it.
It seems only fair that every track on the album gets its own little review, as each song is a carefully formed like a perfect piece of art assembled to make this eleven-track masterpiece.
Fires eases you into what is such an intense album that keeps you on the edge of your seat in anticipation on what is going to happen next, there seems to be a beauty to this that for the four minutes that this track is being played makes you forget all that is crap with the world today. A four-minute track titled Fires does all of that. Makes you think doesn't it?
Keeping it simple and soft Shady Bard continue with a mellowed out track With Bobby. There is nothing more that can be said a piano, Lawrence vocals and an acoustic guitar.
So onto the next chapter with These Quiet Times where a mellow warmth seems to rise from each note being played and each lyric sung, the more into the album that you divulge the greater the effect that Shady Bard have upon all that hear. Frozen Lake is the only thorn in the side that really is just a pointless instrumental or a bit of a tuning session, either way better left alone.
Not like other bands Shady Bard have not got flying in by putting what would be classed as one of their better tracks first on the album, now that they have your attention it is time for Treeology that is one of those more powerful tracks not just because Shady Bard had stepped up the speed and cranked up the volume a bit, but powerful in the song writing sense. It is easy to hail the likes of Noel Gallagher or Alex Turner but in the same breathe Lawrence Becko needs to be included because this guy has got it, and more importantly he is doing it in a whole new style.
Passed the half way mark and if any of Snow patrol were listening to this and more importantly got to Torch Song would perhaps realised that there is no need to make "radio friendly" songs, not when you channel your energies in the way that these guys and gal have done.
Memory Tree has been strategically placed at this point like Kevin Pieterson in the England Cricket team. This is the song to relax and mellow you out before the amazing Penguins.
Penguins is somehow a stand out track on what is already a constantly brilliant album. Starts off slow as each instrument comes in one by one including Lawrence vocals. Piano playing the same chord with the introduction of an acoustic guitar then the vocal then the drums and the build up has started. Once all the instruments interlock together you are lost in the Shady Bards world of Penguins. You find yourself lifted after this but emotionally if you live through the song, you are absolutely drained.
After such a powerful and draining song it is only fair that Shady Bard bring us back down to earth, which they do in the shape of the title track From The Ground Up. This is actually a fitting instrumental.
Without being overcritical on the likes of Athlete, Snow Patrol, The Thrills, Daniel Powter, James Blunt or even David Gray, who don't get me wrong have all made some good records but really From The Ground Up would have been the ultimate achievement. Shady Bard have hit the jackpot and just think it is only their debut album.