One album later and literally half the band had changed. Doug Carrion took over on bass, being just as competent though not otherwise as distinguished as his predecessor, Roger Marbury, while Dave Smalley was also gone, to be replaced by the lyrically similar-minded Peter Cortner. The latter's singing is rather more ragged than Smalley's sometimes blunter work, but the fact that he's not trying to simply ape Smalley actually helps make him much more distinct as a result. Both use speaking as part of their delivery, and Cortner's thinner voice actually suits the fragility of his lyrics quite well, arguably being just that much more effective than Smalley's approach, which sometimes sounded challenging even while pondering personal issues. Baker's still doing a good job all around on guitar, and if anything, stretching himself further at creating true anthems for the disaffected, feeling big and heroic while still embracing punk's simplicity, as the fantastic title track shows. There's even more in the way of soloing, which usually ends up serving each song's drive rather than being a showcase for wanking around. Not that once or twice he indulges in some fret-bending flash that uncomfortably signals where he'd end up with the horrible Junkyard, but happily that approach doesn't dominate. The opening cut, "The Godfather," is a perfect pairing of his talent and Cortner's, with a chorus that rises just enough as the latter wonders how he can truly get in touch with the one he loves. Then there's "When I Move," which completely goes against the grain by only having Cortner and Baker on the track -- the latter simply performing acoustic guitar! Colin Sears keeps up the steady drumming work from the first album, while the production, though at points a touch less crisp than that on Can I Say, still lets everything come through nice and strong.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett