Wednesday, 9 November 2011

CD Review: The Reasoning Live In The USA: The Bottle of Gettysburg

Most people think when I'm talking about The Cohens that I'm talking about The Coen brothers; the Directors of some fine classic movies like the constantly quoted The Big Lebowski. I'm actually, usually, talking about one of my favourite bands: Cardiff based, The Reasoning. They've been through some turbulent times but always come through it with spirit and the urge to go one better than before. This has inspired the following that this band have got. It's infectious, and this first official live album captures this spirit, perfectly.

My earlier crap joke aside, The Reasoning is the sum of it's parts;

Rachel Cohen: Vocals and Percussion
Owain Roberts: Guitar
Tony Turrell: Keyboards, Piano & Vocals
Matthew Cohen: Bass & Backing Vocals
Jake Bradford-Sharp: Drums & Backing Vocals

Rachel's vocals immediately show why she's won the Classic Rock Society's Best Female Vocalist Award for four years running; she really has the voice of a (Dark) Angel. She also owns the stage and mesmerises both men and women. It was a brave choice of the band to include "geeky" introductions, though. I now take a nap during those moments.

Owain has no credit for vocal but I'm sure I've heard something issue from that mouth of his. Anyway, he more than makes up for it by making the guitar sing, and sing sweetly it does, when need be and roar when it should. Along with John Mitchell, Owain is one of the most exciting and inventive young guitarists around. (I say young, compared to Steve Howe anyone is young).

Tony Turrell was an inspired addition to the band and has proven he can not only fill in for vocals but also add some synth in at the right moments to embellish existing tracks. It's the new arrangements of some tracks that help make The Reasoning exciting to watch and listen to. Tony plays keyboards the old fashioned way too, not just hitting buttons on a computer.

Matthew Cohen is the soul of the band; the backbone through his construction of bass lines through to the hard working promotion of the band, with the maintenance of friendships. Not entirely sure about the vocals but he gets the job done.

Jake Bradford-Sharp is one wiry, mean drummer and great to watch. His skills improve at each gig. A band like this need a strong drummer and they've got in Jake.

The tracklist of this live album is a good collection of past and present tracks:

Diamonds and Leather
Fallen Angels
The Nobody Effect
Shadows of the Mind
The Thirteenth Hour
How Far TO Fall?
Chasing Rainbows
Dark Angel
Aching Hunger

Diamonds and Leather is a storming way to open a gig. This live recording evokes precious memories from High Voltage 2010, when The Reasoning opened the Sunday on the Prog stage. Fantastic!
Ending with Aching Hunger, The Reasoning's anthemic interactive crowd pleaser, this is an album for those that enjoy good solid live albums. If you like live music, you'll want to uncork The Bottle of Gettysburg and Rock!

Buy the album right here:

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