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Save My Day (EP)
Artist: FreeSlave
freeslave.org.uk       myspace.com/freeslave
Label: independent - unsigned
Time: 4 tracks/12:03

When I reviewed FreeSlave’s previous full-length effort, I concluded that there was, potentially, somewhere, waiting to emerge from the somewhat tentatively-performed material, a good rock band. With the new FreeSlave EP, _Save My Day_, that band has emerged to bring life to a quartet of good rock tracks.

The title song is an energetic effort, efficiently played, highlighting the band’s edge and lead singer/keyboardist Haydon Spenceley’s distinctively timbered vocals, which _ this_ time, thankfully, are not buried in the mix. Spenceley has that kind of voice - distinctly English, and capable of being plaintive and sincere in the higher register, yet almost sinister and sensual in the lower register – that makes for interesting listening: a unique voice among a sea of generic singers. The lyrics generally deal with spiritual issues centering on the God/man relationship, but never sound preachy. The second track, “Am I Dreaming,” continues the up-tempo start, and delivers another good example of basic nuts & bolts contemporary indie-rock.
The last two tracks, “Hope,” and “Hope (Reprise),” actually feel more like one long piece – the opening section featuring the basic song with a vocal, the second part featuring the song as an instrumental coda: the total effect is of a bigger, ambitious piece, even though there is no real improvisation going on, that will be pleasing to those who remember the days when a band would give _a little bit more_ than what you expected in a three minute pop song. This interesting left-turn perhaps points to where the band might want to take the next step to musical freedom: extended jams used to be the highlights of classic rock performances – maybe it’s time for a return….

Spenceley and FreeSlave (Matt Brombley on drums, Aaron Lewis on guitar, and Ben Lewis on bass) seem to have produced this ep to let the world know that they have a lot more to offer than was hinted at previously. While this recording might not be The Big One for this good band, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Next time? An even freer FreeSlave!
 

By Bert Saraco (www.myspace.com/expressimage      expressimagephoto.tripod.com  )


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
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