Review by Allison Sutherland
There’s no denying that ‘The Answer’ are one of the best bands to come out of Northern Ireland in the last 10 years. I looked forward to seeing them again and listening to some new material. It has to be said that I wasn’t in agreement with their record label releasing ‘Rise’ again (plus 'new' material) last year. Okay, I know that the band have been on the road and that time was short to get back in the studio, however, did we fans feel justified by a re-hash?
Was it fair on us to ask us go back out and buy what we already had?
Saying that, Rise II's extra tracks were good; not mind bowingly so, but good none the less.
The gig at the Spring and Airbrake on 16th October was a nice way for the lads to experiment with what they’ll showcase to the States and the massive audiences they’ll get supporting AC/DC. It was tight and it was professional, I think that they did us proud in their offering.
I will state at this juncture that there was nothing different and nothing that broke the mould in what we were given. It was pure un-adulterated ‘Answer.’ Let’s face it, if you’ve come so far with one album, why change your style?
The boys opened with ‘Come Follow me’ it was as good as it always is and then followed with 10 other tracks. Only ‘Never Too Late, Under the Sky and Preachin’ were ones that the audience had heard before.
The rendition of a new offering ‘Demon Eyes’ started ok, but BOY, did it pick up. Excuse me, but I was left speechless!
‘Tonight’ had Micky doing a good lot of backing vocals and it worked real well. It rocked like a child with no real parentage confirmed. There’s a track called ‘On Tow’ and it’s Blue Grass influenced, with Cormac on harmonica and Paul giving it some welly with his guitar behind his head. Flash bastard … luckily, he’s good enough to get away with it!
Comfort Zone is cool, but again very influenced by deep south American Blues/Blue Grass in total honesty it reminded me of Steve Earle’s ‘Copper Head Road’ don’t knock it ‘till you tried it people! What this song does do is allow us to hear Cormac’s incredibly powerful vibrato, can that guy sing or what?
I LOVE these guys and adore the first album, but in all honesty I hope that after their crack at America , with the support slot for AC/DC, they get a chance to re-group and have some time out to find a grown up sound that allows them to develop. There’s a ‘comfort zone’ going on (not trying to be ironic at all) but I’d love to see them push themselves further.
The thing with The Answer is that they’re not up their own arses, they like to meet the fans, saying that, they’re so terribly humble you feel like you’re intruding. How can that be, when they have such a HUGE fan base? Let it remain the same and they will continue to grow and grow … just like Topsy!
No denying it though, that the good old US of A is in for one Hell of a treat when our boys from Downpatrick hit them full on and will not be taking any prisoners, I for one wish them the best, but in total honesty ...they don't need it!! These home grown boys will find their level and after chatting with David Coverdale a couple of weeks ago .... he's 'watchin' their space!'