Scotland’s other great power pop band, Dropkick released this, their tenth album a few months ago. Hi ho, it’s never too late to summon up a few words of praise for what should really be essential listening for anyone out there with the slightest interest in Scots rock and pop.
Over the years Dropkick have delivered well-crafted collections of sunshine pop seasoned with a whiff of Neil Young type drama. On their last release, “Abelay Hotel” they seemed to have just about honed their craft to perfection but Time Cuts the Ties trumps it and is certainly their best release so far. Interestingly it follows the departure of bassist Scot Tobin and guitarist Roy Taylor who were replaced by original Dropkicker Ian Grier and its as a trio that they recorded this album. Whether they felt they had something to prove or that the original line up reinvigorated them, who’s to know. What we do have are 13 songs that take the blueprint and add some punch to it. The vocals remain wispy but sound more confident, the song structures may recall the Beatles at times and when they get down and dirty on Everything Changes they do mine some Neil Young guitar heroics however one is never in any doubt that this is a Dropkick album. Home compresses much of this into a single song of epic proportions. Solid guitar, stellar vocals, walrus strings all add up to an incredibly strong centrepiece.
With a brace of simpler acoustic songs surrounding the heavy weights there is plenty of variety on show here. Nowhere Land can be singled out for having an element of the band’s homeland embedded within it with its apparent nod to the late Gerry Rafferty’s early style. Despite the plethora of influences mentioned here Dropkick can be proud of an album that draws from the best and distils it into a potent homemade brew.