On Second Thought: Graham Day and the Gaolers – Soundtrack to the Daily Grind (2007)

Wow, do these Medway, England, fellas really pack a whallop! They impress me as a strong cross between the Jam and the Creation, with some freakbeat and mod flourishes. Really rockin’ the rafters here!

“Get Off My Track” sets the pace, rocketing the Gaolers off their musical launch pad. From there on out, they never let up. These guys don’t fool around. An early Who influence pops up on the title track — and if the everyday, real-life daily grind sounds like this, then we’re in for a good old time. The Cream-like “Disown Me” with its wah-wah guitar is a treat, too. This album is music you want to play in your car.

Another surprise is the freakbeat-like instrumental “South Avenue,” with some fab sitar and organ touches. This sounds like a lost movie theme to me. The excellent mid-tempo “Too Few Things,” for some reason, reminded me of an amalgam of the Spencer Davis Group and the Jam. The mid-tempo “On The Pull” is pretty catchy, with organ/piano added to the mix. Fuzz-tone and organ highlight the upbeat and dynamic “Too Few Things.” The only thing I would’ve done to improve this tune is to bring up the lead vocal a little more, and perhaps added reverb as it tends to get a bit buried.

The album-closing, catchy “Too Busy To Try” returns to familiar freakbeat territory, with some cool phasing and a wah-wah guitar which almosts sounds like they’re underwater. That ends this rockin’ album ably and confidentally.

Steve Elliott

Steve Elliott has written for Shindig, Twist and Shake, Garage & Beat and Ugly Things. A big fan of all things rock and roll - especially the British Invasion, garage rock, psychedelic, new wave, folk rock, surf and power pop - he was a consultant on Sundazed Music's reissue of 'The Best of Butch Engle & The Styx: No Matter What You Say' in 2000, and has also provided liner notes for Italy's Misty Lane Records. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.