It's too bad for Piefinger that radio has little of the power it had even a few years ago because the kickoff track of Where You Might Go could have placed them on many people's list of bands to watch. Other Side of the Morning has everything you need for soft rock success: Bee Gees-like voice on verse, Elton John-style chorus, a great sense of melody and vocal harmonies of the first water. Throw in a great electronically-laced vocal bridge toward the end and it spells hit, if that means anything anymore.
The least it should mean is that these guys are worth checking out. Admittedly, it stands alone on the album in style, but guess what? The rest is worth hearing, too. Like the followup track, Keep Breathing which mimics the We Five at their upbeat, folk best; Speed, which uses Jana Carpenter's captivating voice and light acoustic rhythm guitar to set a somber scene; Hedgerider, with an eery lead-in and country rock feel (and, again, Carpenter's voice); Me and Not Me, a light rocker highlighted with fine harmonies and melody; and the quiet, contemplative feel of Still.
Standing out alongside Other Side of the Morning, though, is Sudden Intake of Breath, a lively folk-rocker with great bass line, great background harmonies (used very sparingly), simple upfront production and, again, Vox Carpenter. She grows on you, does Jana, sounding as if she has a perpetual but barely perceptible chest cold and while you certainly hope that is not the case, she gets under your skin.
While the band floats on buoys of folk, pop and rock with an occasional jazz riff thrown in for good measure, there is more here than can be described successfully. Piefinger is not just about the song, they are about the music. Throughout the album, they throw in odd but totally apt segments which, first time through, catch you off guard but become more essential with each hearing.
A caveat. Piefinger's instrument for solos and breaks is violin. The first time through, it may seem a bit much for those not drawn to the instrument, but after a bit it becomes part of the sound and, seriously, Rachel Steadman has a touch not unlike Carpenter's voice. There is at times magic in that violin.
Piefinger's Glynne Steele says that the band is back in the studio laying down new tracks and re-recording a couple of these. He wants a more full and fleshed out sound and maybe that would be good. For myself, Where You Might Go will do very nicely in the meantime. It is a solid album with some incredible highs.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Website design by David N. Pyles