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Elford, Davies and Baldini are a trio from the South East of the United Kingdom, influenced by 70s rock titans like Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and Free, and they are strident keepers of the tradition that it is the responsibility of the protest artist to say something meaningful. The group released their new album The Real Story last month, and it is a throwback to socially conscious rock at its finest. The bulk of the album was written after the start of the COVID pandemic and during lockdown, and consequently many of the songs deal with feelings of anger directed toward the lack of empathy for the ill and dying.
Thankfully the band manages gracefully to completely avoid the common pitfall of most protest music, and that is coming across as preachy. Yes, the group is rather overt on “This Fair Land” with lead vocalist Keith Elford’s antipathy toward the right wing politics of Brexit, and “WWJD” is a uncompromisingly biting satire on religious prejudice, but there is such an authenticity and genuineness in their convictions that it never feels forced or affected. It also helps that songs like “An Hour Away” and “Western Stretch” also qualify as pure riff-heavy hard rock at its finest. The Real Story is a fantastic album that gives the listener the feeling that something vital and energetic had been missing from rock music even if they weren’t aware of it.
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