Richard Davies & The Dissidents “Human Traffic”
I guess you could probably call Richard Davies a veteran of the UK music scene. He’s certainly earned his crust playing with the likes of The Snakes and Tiny Monroe. But this is the first release where he has taken on the mantle of lead vocalist and principle songwriter.
From the moment you hear opening (and title) track “Human Traffic”, you will certainly be glad that he has made that decision. The song itself is a big, wide open, rock song a la Tom Petty but with just the right touch of Thunders’ slouch. Indeed, that kinda blue-collar rock sound is apparent on tracks like “Way Of The Wild” and “Echo Road” (where it’s not just the title that has a Springsteen feel to it).
The other thing that is clear on this album is that Richard sure knows a melody. It’s no wonder “Lay Me Low” is the first single as it’s a mid paced rocker that will get you swaying. It comes as a bit of a shock that it’s actually a new arrangement of a hymn from 1838! The absolute highlight of the album is the irrepressible “21st Century Man” – but heck any song that starts with handclaps and includes cowbells is a hit for us! It’s a fine slice of low slung guitar pop-rock.
“Heartbeat Smile” is a great cover of a song by Alejandro Escovedo and keeps the good time rock n roll feel going. He then demonstrates that he is capable of matching that song with his own song writing by delivering tracks like “(Long Road) To Your Heart”, which sounds like The Stones at their best. Things then return to the sound of Tom Petty with final track “No Man’s Land”.
We guess this type of music would now be classified as ‘classic rock’, which sounds a bit derogatory. It’s actually just great rock n roll music played with a bit of swagger and a lot of fun. It’s certainly the kind of stuff we’d love to hear live in some dingy club (oh for those days again!).