“Great songs, great band, they rock with the best of them”
— Heath Brady
Review of "Open Up Your Heart" by Kaz Johnson
A little while ago, I did a review of Cathy Dobson’s album launch. These guys were featured in that review, because Gradual were the support act and they also backed Cathy in her set. They also had just a wee bit to do with Cathy’s album.
They are the tightest band that I have heard in a long time. They played musical chairs that day with them all jumping around playing different instruments.
Now, they are not really a country act, which is what I review on here, hence me putting it in the Off the Cuff stuff. I really like them though, in fact, at times they sound more country than a lot of bands these days claiming to be country do. It doesn’t really matter, good music is good music.
This E.P. features two tracks written by Brian Baker (the front man) and one co-written by Brian and a name that most rock music followers in the Southern Hemisphere will know, Eddie Rayner. Eddie was of course, a member of Split Enz.
If you have 13 minutes and 1 second spare, toss this on the stereo, turn it up loud so that you can hear the great drumming, awesome bass and full on guitars. Open Up your heart is really catchy. You will be humming it around the house. We fall slowly has that easy, coastal feel. For Love was previously released in a different version but I like this acoustic sound. Like most good E.Ps and E.E.Ps, this offering leaves you wanting more.
Gradual is Carolyn Oates, Brian Baker, David Carr and Darren Trott
They are all wonderful musicians in their own right. Together, they are extra special.
If you like Crowded House, Hunters and Collectors and the like, you will like Gradual. They will instantly appeal to you…nothing gradual about this lot!
Open up your heart (Brian Baker)
We fall slowly (Brian Baker)
For Love (acoustic) (Brian Baker and Eddie Rayner)
Gradual! The melody of Crowded House, the fury of Midnight Oil, the pub rock conviction of Matt Finish and the orchestration of late-era Beatles; Gradual distills and channels these influences into a vessel that can barely contain the result. Attempting to characterise the quartet as 'energetic, creative and melodic' can barely convey what the band offers, both in its live outpourings and studio concoctions.