Dave Griffiths - The Way Through The Land
Last modified: 27 Feb 2013

Dave Griffiths - The Way Through The Land
When an artist brings out their debut album, there's often that nagging worry in the back of your mind as a reviewer. What if I don't like it? Well, with this release things are a little different. If the name Dave Griffiths doesn't mean much to you, perhaps you'll have heard of his former band BOSH or recent collaborative effort Chaos Curb. With more than 15 years experience under his belt with those British bands, Dave is no first-timer when it comes to recording an album, but 'The Way Through The Land' is his first solo effort.

'The Land' opens with some stark vocals, with a trace of angst, before the heavy sounding guitar riff barks out a few notes. "Read the book the Father wrote, I need the hope that it gives." This guitar driven rock track sounds loud and full of attitude as Dave's expertly sung vocals punctuate with a Bowie crossed with Van Morrison style.

'Heading West' instantly has a much lighter feel, with a soft rock/country style. The guitars are far less heavy and demonstrate a softer and more delicate skilfulness. Vocally and musically it is comparable to Martyn Joseph, and later in the song a violin plays a jaunty jig to add a little extra flavour.

'Still Here' is more of an acoustic guitar ballad, with some delicious piano notes and perhaps a hint of mandolin. The vocals really are superb as Dave serves up a platter of emotion singing the chorus, "You were there and You're still here".

In total contrast, the intriguingly titled 'Bridport Dagger' opens with a frenzied punk style guitar and drum fight. The bursts of electric guitar are cleverly woven into the track as Dave repeats over and over "Bridport Dagger, Smoke, Mirror". As a listener you'll probably not have a clue what he's on about (or maybe that's just me?), but as a piece of music this will have the mosh-pit drenched in sweat within seconds.

Again changing the tempo back to a more sedate level, 'Standing In The Presence' is the closest Dave comes to what you might call 'conventional worship'. "Standing in the presence of the Lord... You bring me joy". The guitars are straight out of the Clapton school of music, and a few quirky strings and clashing drums add a swagger that is easy to enjoy.

With it's gentle opening piano and picked guitar, 'Draw Another Line' is an instant stunner. Dave again demonstrates the strength of his versatile voice as he sings the beautiful lines, "You can take the weight that I can't carry any more. Lead it to Your cross like you did before. You said it was over so why do I carry on? Draw another line under what I have done." Atmospheric orchestral strings and a wonderful blend of instruments just add more warmth and emotion to this glorious stand out track.

Continuing the same feeling of comfort and emotion, final track 'Feels Like Summer' has a lovely pounding drum beat and wavering guitar riff as Dave explores the theme of the second coming with some clever imagery.

These seven tracks provide a mouth watering taster of what Dave Griffith is capable of. With so much talent and creativity, and a voice that can pour out songs of the highest quality, Dave as a solo singer is something well worth getting excited about.

Review by Dave Wood

Standout Tracks
Draw Another Line
Still Here
LTTM Rating:

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