is only April, but Mott the Dog knows
already what is going to be his C.D. of
the year. Yes, it has to be the latest
release, ‘Race’ from the Tracie
Hunter Band. This is actually the band’s
first full length release, and it will
completely blow away all the cobwebs in
your speakers – if not blow away
your speakers all together.
The band pulls no punches on all of the
eleven tracks that have been laid down,
there is certainly no filler tracks here.
The lineup of the band has now been stable
for over a year, and know each other well.
This comes across on the songs as each
is played with the tightness of the English
Rugby front row, and with the fire and
passion of the England Cricket team’s
new pace attack.
Tracie Hunter herself has grown into
a fine front person, and her vocals are
quite superb throughout this album. Surely
she must be the finest Lady vocalist on
the present rock market. If you have any
doubts, one listen to ‘Race’
is enough to make you agreeing with me.
The way Tracie Hunter delivers the throwaway
line "this isn't really Rock 'n'
Roll" in the middle of the last single
‘Maybe’, is defining and a
delight to hear.
Tracie also has a hand in writing all
of the eleven songs and so does guitarist
Neil Gabbitas. With the release of this
album, he will be put at the top of the
new wave of guitar heroes. Neil Gabbitas
wrenches every bit of emotion from the
strings of his axe, and nails each solo
to the mast to fly proudly. Joining Neil
Gabbitas on guitar is Matt Pearce, and
when these two are blazing away with both
guns, you know this really is rock and
On Bass guitar is Neil's Brother Mel,
who, as well as laying down some really
heavy bass lines (it would actually be
Mel's playing that will blow you bins
away), he also handles all the production
and mixing work with a little help from
his brother and the Lady out the front.
And this is where the songs really excel.
The sound is crystal clear, the mixing
on opening song 'Like You' leaves you
in no doubt that they have been laid down
by somebody, who has loved and treasured
Steve Washington drives the band along
from behind his drum kit, and Darren Oldale
is on the Bvs.
Opening song 'Like You' begins with some
guitar scapes, before the rest of the
band come thundering in and, over its
nearly 5-minute length, builds to a frenzied
climax, in a way reminiscent of The Sensational
Alex Harvey Band's 'Faith Healer’,
which always opened up their live set.
'Faith Healer' was one of the greatest
openings to any set of rock 'n' roll,
so this draws a favorable comparison.
'Lost Inside You' is a glorious acoustic
ballad, a little bit retro. But is there
anything wrong with that? It shows off
Tracie Hunter’s vocals perfectly
and Neil Gabbitas's gentler side, as his
acoustic guitar is the only backing for
Tracie Hunter's voice.
It is hard to single out any particular
track for shining a spot light on as they
are a fine collection of diamonds here.
‘Maybe' is an instant classic and
will presumably be in the live set for
eternity, as 'All The Young Dudes' will
always be in her Fathers set.
The title song is particularly moving.
"This ain't a race of Life, This
ain't a race of time, It's about everything
‘Astoria Morning’ brings
the set to a fitting finale, leaving you
with only one choice: to push the repeat
button on your C.D. and listen to Tracie
Hunter and her band again. The album cover
has got to be the reddest artwork ever,
very eye catching, and Pattaya socialite
Colin Powell gets a name check on the
inside, too, which is nice.
I know that ‘Race’ is going
to be a big hit in Tahitian Queen's famous
Friday Rock 'n' Roll Happy hour.
Is this collection of songs worth blowing
up your speakers? Of course it is, you
know it makes sense. Catch the Tracie
Hunter Band now, at the beginning of their
recording career, and cling on for a rocket
Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew