Album review: Big Country, The Journey

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THE surviving members of the Scots rockers distance themselves from the distinctive musical memory of their late leader Stuart Adamson on their new album.

Big Country

The Journey

Cherry Red, £13.99

***

His guitar sound rests in peace as Bruce Watson largely forges a different sound, throwing more conventional rock shapes on Hurt and Return.

Erstwhile Alarm frontman Mike Peters does a Celtic soul-stained job of vocally filling Adamson’s boots, but never gets close to his tormented power, and try as they might to seek to evoke wide open spaces, the title track and Home Of The Brave instead border on the claustrophobic.

Elsewhere, Another Country becomes the latest song to model itself on the riff of Lou Reed’s Sweet Jane, but sadly is no more memorable than any of the others.

Still powered by the tribal pounding of Mark Brzezicki, the band had an inspirational sound and spirit through the most dire of circumstances, but perhaps now would be good time to move away from the memories. Even past their peak, the band played a ground-breaking show in Moscow 25 years ago, which teetered on the brink of being one of rock’s biggest embarrassments. But that still beats necrophiliac nostalgia.

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