Duncan Reid and the Big Heads - 'The Difficult Second Album' (Little Big Head Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Dom Daley   
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 03:00

duncan2ndalbum300Who'd have thought it, eh? After finishing his time with The Boys Duncan Reid has pretty much gotten his head down and played gig after gig after gig in country after country after country and now, as the summer fades from 2014, he sees fit to release his second solo album and gives it the time honoured title of being 'The Difficult Second Album' that it usually is. However, I'm not having any of that because what I have here in my grubby little hands is an album that doesn't sound like it was difficult at all: in fact, it would appear to be the opposite.

 

When you finish playing this for the first time like me you'll be asking yourself who's he kidding? This is the work of a guy who knows exactly where he's at and what he's capable of. This is a record full to bursting with relevant bristling power pop that's full of edge, hooks, humour, melodies to die for and real grown up songs that are, well, if I might be so bold, Fucking Excellent!!

 

We start off with the gentile 'Just As Good As I Used To Be', or you get lulled into thinking it's going to pan out that way before the sharp guitar rolls in for a most excellent album opener with a lead guitar that isn't a million miles away from something Mr. Steve Jones used to knock out when he was a Sex Pistol. Great stuff and already I'm liking what I'm hearing. Next!

 

'Little Fingers And Toes' follows on from the opener, an uptempo vibrant number with a really smooth and driving bass line that you'd expect as Duncan narrates his story. Something of a tangent for 'Baby Doll' with a very Jimmy Destri sounding keyboard run before the song lays back and rides the rhythm section for the verses. What a cool tune and the instruments really work well creating some real drama as the song builds and falls as it creeps round your head. The solo is excellent with the use of an ebow.

 

'Joe' is laid back and less power and more pop as the piano drives the song and Duncan relates the inspiration in the sleeve notes - it may be a change of pace but it's another great tune.

 

'Another City' reminds me of 'Strawberries' era Damned as Duncan narrates his experiences of the river boat ride from Greenwich near the Cutty Sark to Embankment and the views it throws up that you wouldn't otherwise capture. It's an inexpensive trip and the next time I do it I'll have this on me headphones for good measure.

 

'Long Long Gone' is an ode to children as they grow up and leave home all set to a laid back bit of power pop. The tempo is raised for 'Cest La Vie' as The Little Big Heads get down to business and do exactly what they do best.  It's only rock n roll and as Reid says life is short so just have fun... like this record does. Smile, have fun and turn it up!

 

'When We Were Young' sees Reid reflect on old friends amidst a melancholy keyboard swirl before the song picks up yet the reflecting goes on and Duncan lays it out on the line. 'End Of the World' sees Alex Gold co-write with Duncan on an end of the the world concept and by all accounts is was poured over for all of twenty minutes - not that you'd know, mind.

 

'One Night In Rio' is an uptempo rocker built around a true story of an experience Duncan had a while ago and the song roars on for its perfect three minute life span. Who'd have thought that Duncan Reid would be knocking out a second album so quickly after his debut solo album? Maybe playing so many shows has got him in a groove and his songwriting mojo is well and truly on fire? Long may it continue if this is the kind of record he's going to knock out every year.

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It's an album that has something for everyone but manages to remain oh so Duncan Reid, even when flitting from style to style which in itself is an art so many singers/bands try and never achieve. Power poptastic? No doubt about it! Now to start planning the impossible third album I guess.
 
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To pick up your copy of 'Difficult Second Album' - CLICK HERE