Listening to David Banks’ new record Until the End feels like listening to a mainstream radio station. It bathes deeply in the essence of 70s classic rock, like a teen dousing themselves in cologne before their first high school dance. It’s middle of the road generic rock, it’s comforting and most people will enjoy the warm embrace of Until the End.
The opening track “Someone to Lean On” is a rousing, rock and roller that sounds much like Warren Zevon without the hard, witty edge; let’s liken it to Bruce Springsteen writing a song and having Zevon sing it. The track has all the peculiarities of a radio-friendly rock song: clean, polished vocals, chugging rhythm, guitar solo, persistent passive keyboards. Everything to make your parents stand up and rock out to. Banks’ jams sorta sit between being too rock to be considered country, yet too country to be considered a straight-up rock album, which could very well work to the band’s advantage. “Waiting in the Rain” has those country undertones but nothing overtly country about it, as if Banks wears his cowboy hat but only inside his house. It’s the sort of song that feels like a single and could easily have some staying power. Banks sings with an assuredness and a vibe that everything is just on cruise control as if he was born to sing these songs.
Until the End has some really nice soft n’ slow songs as well. “Apologies From Sun St” is a touching easy rocker that feels like a song you’d play on a long car ride far from home. “Broken on the Floor” is another mournful, slow-moving rocker that has my favourite guitar parts on the entire album. It’s nothing that’s gonna change the face of music, but it does hit you in all the right spots, incredible tone, neither overplayed or overly simple, some very professionally constructed rock and roll.
If you’ve read my reviews before you’ll know that generic rock music doesn’t often score very high with me. I’m always going to favour the bands and artists that stray from the classic dynamics, the weird stuff, the ones that take chances. That said, Until the End is a fantastic listen, loaded with quality songs, great musicianship and Banks’ incredible singing and I will succumb to the fact in my scoring that there are a lot of people who will love this type of record and personal taste and opinion aside, this is a record that needs to be heard.
Written by Lee Ferguson
*edited by Danielle Kenedy