Hackamore Brick – From There To Almost Here (2014)

Now revered as a cult band, Hackamore Brick began life on encouraging footing when their debut album One Kiss Leads To Another, released late in 1970, gathered glowing reports from music journalists. Little airplay was yielded though, and a follow-up disc from the New York band was aborted.

After several years of silence, Hackamore Brick started recording again in the 80s but such wares sadly remained in the vaults. Come 2009, the band entered the studio once more and issued a six-track effort Long Way Home that proved to be an impressive comeback. Comprised of material slated to appear on Hackamore Brick’s second album, as well as those long lost treasures from the 1980s, From There To Almost Here is so good that it sounds like a greatest hits collection from a major league act. The songwriting is catchy and concise, the instrumentation is creative and clever, the vocals are inspired and infectious, and there’s a lot of mileage in the melodies.

Fired by rolling piano trills and a finger-tapping temper that’s impossible to ignore, “Just Another Squarehead” produces a dashing blend of glam pop and boogie rock, the southern-fried fixings of “I Put Off My Date With Destiny” mirrors both the Flying Burrito Brothers and Badfinger, and “We Can’t Drive To Florida” swivels and swaggers to a bluesy pitch placed in the vein of Humble Pie and the Faces.

Moving onto the ’80s, there’s the comparably engaging “Don’t You Wanna Go,” “Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind,” “Lose You” and “Somebody Will” that glimmer with clean, crisp and bubbly new wave styled textures and rhythms. Choppy guitars, escorted by cool keyboards and fine harmonies make the grade.

Absorbing a variety of influences, ranging from the witty pop of the Kinks to the bluesy country folk of the Lovin’ Spoonful to the moody minimalism of Velvet Underground to homegrown hippy rock, Hackamore Brick conceived an appealing personality all their own. Thanks to the band’s potent tunesmith techniques, every cut on From There To Almost Here conveys a timeless feel. Masters of songs you can hum and strum, Hackamore Brick is a band that deserves to be at the top of any serious pop rock fan’s list.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 on the national charts with "Stand By Me" - which is ironically one of her favorite songs, especially the version by John Lennon. She has also contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Paterson's own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.

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