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  On the Break  

Greg Parker

  Whitewall Records  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:
  Indoor Miner  

ďI write according to the mood I'm inĒ, says singer/songwriter Greg Parker. ďSometimes I'm in a country mood, other times I'm in a blues mood, a soul mood, or a ballad mood. Then other times I'm just in a mood. Oftentimes that's when I write my best songs.Ē Which, on the strength of this five track EP, can only lead me to believe that beneath that be-quiffed angelic face, Mr. Parker is one bad tempered mofo and not the young Cliff Richard he resembles. I say this because there are some really good songs here, and this is coming from someone who, with the notable exception of Hank Williams, is never, ever in a country mood!

On The Break opens strongly with Get In Line Caroline, a lovely little number that doesnít so much take you down those country roads as lead you to some mythical 50ís utopia. Itís as old-fashioned as, well, Windows 95, but itís still a great song with beautiful vocals and big echo-ey guitars. The jaunty Disaster Waiting To Happen follows with its skiffle-like beat. But, for all its apparent chirpiness, a closer listen to the lyrics tell a different story. ďIíve never known that kind of painĒ, he sings. He mightnít have done before, but you believe he has now.

A Heart Is A Terrible Thing To Break is slower, similar in mood to Chris Isaakís Wicked Game until a last minute build-up. Subsequently, Molly Dear opens with a delicious finger picking guitar intro, before Greg tells us how much he wants Molly to be his. He wants to take Molly to Memphis, to the river, toÖ well you get the feeling that the place isnít important. Iím sure Greg would take her to the pet food section of the local supermarket as long as he could sneak a few private moments with her. Yet, despite him making it plain that his intentions are honourable by offering to take her to the local Justice of the Peace, you get the impression that Molly is always going to remain outside Parkerís reach. Indeed, for all his good looks, I can imagine Parker making a career out of telling us heís always unlucky in love. He does it so well.

On The Break closes with Kathleen, which is undoubtedly the finest song here. Although the most up-tempo track on the EP, itís as heartfelt as ever, except this time Parkerís yearnings and tasty falsetto "ooohhhs" are augmented by altogether more thrashy guitars.

So if, like me, you think that country music is all about blokes in cowboy hats telling us that he caught his loved one in bed with his best friend and all heís got left in his life is his dog (or is the other way around?), then let me assure you thereís none of that silliness here. And if youíre still unsure about purchasing On The Break, then why not buy a copy for your country loving aunt and uncle, give it a sneaky listen and then keep it for yourself? Or better still, buy another, because these are quality songs performed by an exceptional singer. Long may his bad moods continue!

Related Links:

It's Greg Parker's website link, wherein you can download an MP3 of Get In Line Caroline.


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