July 11, 2009

Mod-A-Day: Graham Day & The Gaolers

Trying to do a single post on Graham Day is rather difficult. When it comes to mod infused garage rock there are few musicians that can compare. He was a charter member of The Prisoners, Prime Movers, Solarflares, and has produced mod acts like Len Price 3 and Jarvis Humby. And of late he's been fronting his own band the Gaolers. So, that's where I'm going to focus. You can find out all about the others elsewhere quite easilyl I'm sure, and maybe someday in the future right here. Just not right now.

The band first debuted in 2007 with Soundtrack to the Daily Grind which shared a sort of freakbeat delivery of raw r&b with the sixties mods it echoed like The Creation and The Pretty Things. But it was much more than just a derivitive sound of the sixties. It offered a modern view of the world thanks to Day's poetic lyrics and a tight production where organ and guitars shared the limelight back and forth, giving a sort of swinging sixties feel to it overall.

Then last year came The Gaolers sophomore release Triple Distilled. Picking up right where Soundtrack to the Daily Grind left off the album delivers a baker's dozen of blistering garage rock numbers in under 40 minutes. The album is less swinging psychadelia, offering a harder edged, still professionally polished, garage rock sound. Where the organ was up front in a number of Daily Grind tracks, it is mostly absent on Triple Distilled. The songs now are all about the guitars -- driving and buzzsawing across the top of Day's vocals. Many of Distilled's songs are Day's in your face proclamations about him being of an age to do whatever he wants, "Glad I'm Not Young", "Wanna Smoke", "Just A Song", and "Better Man". The song featured hear is "Pass That Whiskey", a twangier rock number (thanks to sitar) that lauds the benefits of whiskey over ale to take the edge off.

Word online is that Graham Day & The Gaolers may have just finished their last tour, for undisclosed reasons. Let's hope they can keep recording even if they hang up their traveling gear.

Graham Day & The Gaolers -- Pass That Whiskey