STEPHEN GALVIN: Thin White Line
By Bing Turkby
Galvinís impressive musical apprenticeship spans many genres, but the two most apparent on this recording are jazz and rock. As the album goes on it slowly moves from the jazzier feel to the rockier. The mood at the start is meditative and the lyrics contemplative. Almost like a laid-back version of Hendrixís Angel. Sometimes the drums donít seem to gel with the rest of the instrumentation. They work well when they are minimalist, like on the song Father, or hard-out, like on Itís Time to Die. The guitarwork goes from clean and compressed to distorted and impassioned. Itís nice for us old bogans to hear some big distorted chords every so often, the whammy bar gets a shake near the end of Friendship and there some Eastern-tinged scales getting a workout too. Perhaps Galvin has crafted this album all by himself, which is quite an achievement. His voice works well enough for his material but it would be interesting to hear him take these songs and collaborate with another vocalist just to lift things a little. Maybe the next batch of songs could be performed by a fleshed-out Stephen Galvin Band, to inject some fire into the arrangements and provide a sympathetic backing for this talented musician.