Graham Bonnet Band - Meanwhile, Back In The Garage

(CD, Frontiers, 2018)

The 2016 titled “The Book” came as a bit of a surprise as it was a consistent piece of classic Heavy Metal; I don't know what I should be expecting from GRAHAM BONNET BAND really, most likely something softer. No matter what, the album exceeded my expectations by far, so now, for “Meanwhile, Back In The Garage” I was looking forward to hearing something similar.

And that's exactly what's delivered. Opening song, as well as title track “Meanwhile, Back In The Garage” is a RAINBOW-oozing, up-tempo catchy track. The keyboard, or organ is perhaps a better term, is the driving force but as it played the classic way it is still a heavy piece. Following “The Hotel” is a little softer without losing the heavy beat or melancholy. So, this album sure has a strong opening that perfectly satisfies my expectations.

Graham himself turned 70 in 2017 but for that sake has not lost his power; that is what struck me when seeing him live - he's really giving it all and there's so much force in his voice. He has a special tone which perhaps doesn't appeal to all but with this one, in his own songs it's really a perfect match. “Incest Outcest U.S.A” is a favourite from the album, again a slightly softer track touching upon the style, fines and sense of melody of MSG. I really like the mid-tempo bridge, it gives dynamic and make the song stand out even more. Also, “Long Island Tea” is a much-loved track; the changes between the stomping initial riff, the slightly more lose verse and the smooth chorus are fantastic. It all sounds very classic and I like it that virtually every song on the album has a striking chorus, and this still without being repetitive.

The direct sound gives life to the music, the raw and crunchy sound of the guitar, especially in the faster songs, is very unforgiving. It shows off the precision of Kurt James and with the naked sound it all feels very honest. Then, I don't really see the point to include the Tina Turner song “We Don't Need Another Hero” as the record as it is, holds 12 fantastic songs which is more than enough if you’d ask me. Also, compared to the rest, it feels rather dull and uninspired. Then, the little odd “Heading Towards The Light” and “The Crying Chair” is much better. The latter is an emotion-loaded ballad and the nerve in it is fantastic. It is perhaps a little odd to end a record with a song like this but it works.

So, all in all, “Meanwhile, Back In The Garage” is a collection of great classic Heavy Metal tracks - the album feels inspired and vibrant. Is it something new? Not really, but that's not what I want either. Good songs and a great performance is more than enough.





01. Meanwhile, Back In The Garage
02. The Hotel
03. Livin’ In Suspicion
04. Incest Outcest U.S.A.
05. Long Island Tea
06. The House
07. Sea Of Trees
08. Man On The Corner
09. We Don’t Need Another Hero
10. America…Where Have You Gone?
11. Heading Toward The Light
12. Past Lives
13. The Crying Chair
14. Starcarr Lane (live from Daryl’s House 2018)


Graham Bonnet - Vocals
Kurt James - Guitar
Beth-Ami Heavenstone - Bass
Jimmy Waldo - Keyboards
Mark Benquechea - Drums