The Madding Crowd
Hailing from the Deer Park, Long Island area, Nine Days streaked into the pop/rock music radio scene like a blazing comet across the sky of mediocrity and blandness with the lively and upbeat song, “Absolutely (Story of a Girl),” and has literally taken over. If we’ve all heard it once, we’ve heard this song a million times… “This is the story of a girl, who cried a river and drowned the whole world…” — you can’t help but like this song! It gets into your head and you find yourself squeezing tomatoes for ripeness down at the local Publix and the song is bouncing around in your head and you realize it’s stuck there, forever. It’s clear that songwriters John Hampson and Brian Desveaux have that uncanny knack for writing songs that get stuck in your head. They fully intend on making songs that just won’t go away. And, it’s a good thing.
The Madding Crowd CD title comes from the book with the same name in the title, and as the band themselves admit, the songs all come from the experience of dealing with everyday relationship ups and downs and what we all feel and take from them. The first track, “So Far Away,” doesn’t stray in the least from the same emotion grabbing strain as “Absolutely,” and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this tune as the band’s next radio release. “Bob Dylan,” the sixth cut on this debut CD, lists writers as Desveaux and Bob Dylan, and starts out with a catchy little spoken word ditty and then crashes into a driving tune that is loud and driving.
No surprise, the band lists Bob Dylan as an influence. Sweet harmonies on the vocal end of things and jangly guitars make up the main character of Nine Days, with a lesser nod at rhythms from the bass and drums. They lean heavily on the work of Jeremy Dean on Hammond Organ, piano and different keyboard effects. Lyrically, the team of Hampson and Deveaux could just as easily publish a modern day poetry book, as the lyrics talk, tell stories and make a statement, but the band says there is no cause to speak of in their music at all. “We’d prefer to let the music speak for itself.” And it does speak, so maybe the listener can get a good grip on what the band thinks and says just by paying attention. The lead vocals from Hampson are quite beautiful. I really like this guy’s voice.
One of the very best songs on The Madding Crowd is the searching and emotional “Bitter.” Although not upbeat and bouncy as “Absolutely,” it cuts deep into the heart and stirs up emotions of the crying kind. The only thing I could say that would really make this a better recording would be a little more variety in the songwriting, but then again, that, in itself, would change the very direction of Nine Days. Keep your eyes and ears peeled, peoples, I think we’re gonna be hearing more and more of the Nine Days sound, and find ourselves singing these songs while sitting in the dentist office waiting room or squeezing those tomatoes!
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