With the release of "No Weapons, No Allies", we get the opportunity to hear once more the evocative voice of Tim Larson. Anyone who has played with The Drovers is going to be fine with us so we were looking forward to this album.
The opening track "Sin City" was a bit of a disappointment and lacked sparkle but then "U.S. 1" hits the speakers and everything is saved! The guitar is bigger, the vocals are meatier and the production snaps into focus. Everything about this song makes you believe it would make a fantastic live song - an upbeat, well written and truly memorable tune. "High and Lonesome" highlights Larson's own style. Sensitively produced and with pleasing backing vocals it leads perfectly into the album's title track, which has an extremely deceptive name; you might first jump to the conclusion that it is a political statement, but in fact, this is a song about individual humanity. The guitar work on this track is particularly evocative and the lyrics are insightful. "Devil and Angels" is a decent middle of the road song but is upstaged by "There Ain't A Grave That Can Hold My Body Down", which proves to be the standout track of the album. This is one powerful and uplifting tune with an excellent and very well edited guitar solo. This sound is the one that Larson that should aim to perfect.
Overall the album works, but some of the tracks feel out of place. There is a feeling of "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks", but that's not necessarily a bad thing. We get to hear everything Larson can do on this and the man certainly has potential, but he needs to work at creating and perfecting his own unique sound.