Once a rock always a rock. Or so the story that I just made up goes. What, you may wonder, has that got to do with Dundee based band Bravado and their new album Cascadia? Well, it isn’t anything to do with the great secrets of the universe like Colonel Sanders’ recipe for fried chicken (not a sponsor but we have always been firm believers in saturated fat here at Bluesbunny Towers).
I shall tell you anyway. Way back in the alcohol fuelled mists of time there was a rock singer doing the rounds in dear old Glasgow town called Paula Knight and it turns out that she is now the principal songwriter for Bravado. Or, indeed, a songwriter with bravado (ha!) as “Cascadia” turns out to be a convincing rock album of the old school. By that I mean that this is almost a concept album with a story being told over the course of these twelve songs just like such things were done when twelve inches of plastic were all that a man would want to make his weekend life complete. That and beer, of course.
To a notable extent, this makes “Cascadia” a very conventional rock album, yet it has also to be said that this kind of music is not easy to produce as it demands more song writing and performance skills than your average riff merchant can manage in these technologically enhanced days. The songs themselves have enough of a rock opera vibe to make the stage their natural home and Pamela Stewart handles her out front duties with enough dramatic style to make you want to hear the next one. Solid support, especially from the ever insistent Steven Magners on bass keep the songs rolling purposely forward.
“Cascadia” therefore works for me as all thing that are done well usually do. Just play loud, add beer and it will likely work for you too.
Best song? The theatrical “Ballad of Roxy and Tim”.
The verdict? Solid as a rock. Well, it would be and, clearly, you can’t keep a good Paula Knight down.