To paraphrase Ms. Austen, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a fan of Byrds styled jangle rock will love Dropkick” and on their latest release, Dropkick simply confirm this universal statement. To The Byrds we’d also add that anyone who enjoyed the debut album by Bennett Wilson Poole or are aware of the myriad glories of Peter Bruntnell will also take to The Scenic Route like a duck to water.
Much, or indeed, all of the album will be no surprise to anyone who has followed this band. The wispy vocals, the jangled guitars and driving rythyms, the sunny disposition are all intact. The ten songs are all compact, most of them around three minutes in length and the band stick to their signature sound throughout closing with a couple of finely wrought minor key songs.
The album opens with a bang on the jubilant crashing guitars of Feeling Never Goes Away, a chime fest indeed and the most buoyant number here although it’s over almost before it starts. Catching On follows and it’s a bona fide classic Dropkick number with its gliding rhythm and glorious harmony vocals ending in a slight smorgasbord of feedback and sonic gobbledegook. Disappearing is announced by grumbling guitars and sweeping organ as Andrew Taylor guides the band in a Bruntnell direction which they follow again on the muscular For Too Long with its exuberant guitar solos.
Despite the sunny disposition, several of the songs deal with loss and rejection. A Matter Of Time has a resigned air to it with the lyrics recalling the late Gene Clark and that sense of unrequited romance is maintained on the mournful Home Early but hopes springs eternal as the band spark into the naive optimism of Tomorrow. Broken is the ballad of the album which has a McCartney like air to it before burgeoning into a glorious and soaring guitar solo and the band wind things up with the homely You’ll Always Be There, a tender concoction of laidback guitars over a shuffling beat as Taylor sounds wonderfully hopeful and vulnerable.