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String Driven Thing - Please Mind Your Head CD (album) cover


String Driven Thing


Prog Folk

2.65 | 18 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Going Free

When Chris and Pauline Adams left String Driven Thing after the release of "The Machine that cried", the heart of the band essentially went with them. To his credit, Grahame Smith rebuilt String Driven Thing from scratch, but the truth was that this was a completely different band using the same name (per Fleetwood Mac). The new line up recorded two albums together; unfortunately this was the poorer one.

Vocal duties were taken on by Kim Beacon (here referred to as Kimberley) who was the principal vocalist on Tony Banks' first solo album. Beacon's vocals represented a fundamental change from those of the Adams family, implying an immediately apparent change of sound for the band. This, combined with a general move towards a more orthodox pop rock direction alienated many of SDT's original fans. In fairness though, the songs here are not that good to start with.

Things start off brightly enough with "Overdrive" a mid-paced pop song with a fine harmonic chorus. Unfortunately, that's about it. Songs such as "Without you" try to be more adventurous, with Smith's violin and viola contributions at least moving the songs on from being totally average rock, but ultimately even the best performances cannot disguise a poor song.

Personally, I find the late Kim Beacon to be one of the finest rock singers of his day, his voice being a cross between Paul Rogers and Rod Stewart. Indeed, this album is probably best described as a second rate FREE album. Even he though cannot breath life into the decidedly average "Josephine", the playful but dull pop of "Mrs. Reilly", or any of the other anonymous compositions here.

Apart from "Overdrive", only "Timpani for the devil" offers anything different or mildly interesting. This instrumental piece draws in brief classical influences as Grahame Smith gets loose on his violin while drummer Colin Fairley expresses himself. In truth, the workout is mediocre, but it is at least a change.

Fortunately, String Driven Thing would come good again with their final album "Keep yer 'and on it", but this one can be safely passed by. Silly sleeve too, with a tennis rackets theme.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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