Spaces In Between
Cool Green Recordings
Released October 3, 2011 UK: CD
October 18, 2011 U.S.: CD
Recently my concern with new rock music is that musicians have stopped listening to blues. The old blues masters is where rock originated and just about every great rock song has a heavy blues foundation. Sure, the new guys say they love the blues but then rip into clone riffs of AC/DC, Led Zep, and all the usual classic rock bands ignoring the nuggets that made those bands great in the first place.
It takes balls to create a new sound by taking the most interesting parts and the intricacies of the greats to form something (almost) entirely your own. Tracer are not concerned with just copying the greats on debut album Spaces In Between. They’re interested in balls.
That band was formed by brothers Michael Brown and Leigh Brown (formerly of The Brown Brothers band) with Andre Wise in a heretofore unknown part of Australia. Here in this part of their country it sounds like American desert stoner rock, classic British blues, and hard rock with a carpet of New York punk.
Michael Brown’s guitar riffs are huge and catchy but can ‘turn on a sixpence’ as the old English saying goes; switching tempo and rhythm with ease. His lead guitar work is frighteningly good and his voice a cross between Paul Rodgers and Glenn Hughes — he can belt out a vocal. Check out “Louder Than This” as proof. He does well to encapsulate his abilities on the surprisingly tender “Voice In The Rain” and the fantastically energetic “Too Much.”
Bass bomber brother Brown’s groovy lead bass lines drive each track and he also has a great voice, sharing vocal duties with Michael. His tight bass lines complement his brother’s guitar and keep the rhythms in check. Drummer Wise plays it hard and heavy but is happy to keep the party going rather than be the party piece; “Walk Alone” and “Save My Breath” are brought crashing to life.
At 12 tracks long, Spaces In Between does feel like it overruns a little. However, you could easily start the album at any point and enjoy a run of very good rock songs. If you don’t rock to Tracer, then maybe you don’t rock.