Speak No Evil
(Drifter's Church, 2002)
Speak No Evil is a mixture of country and bluegrass. It features a nice blend of new songs by lead singer Michael Reynolds coupled with competent covers of better-known pieces.
"Cheap Motel," written by Reynolds, is particularly well put together. It evokes a life on the road very well with lines like "cracks in the ceiling spell out all my shame." "Augusta" boasts a powerful, driving beat that sets the pulse racing in what we might describe as a "coming home song."
There is certain feel of the Eagles on some tracks, which provides an interesting slant to the music. It's obvious that Pinmonkey -- odd name notwithstanding -- would be a very exciting live act and is worth seeking out. But, while this comes across quite well on the CD, the necessary "spark" does not seem to be there. This is a good album by a good band, but it falls short of great. Having said that, it is worth exploring as the band show signs of better things.
A debut album is always difficult to judge any act on so give them a listen and watch out for future releases. In particular seek them out for a live performance, where I suspect their strengths will really shine.
[ by Nicky Rossiter ]