back, Philip "Swill" Odgers of the Men They Couldn't Hang decided that
he wanted to produce an album that was under his control from start to
finish. The Day After is the result. Using lyrics
provided by fellow TMTCH member Paul Simmonds (for the majority -- but
not all -- of the songs) and acoustic instruments, Swill and his guest
musicians (the Swaggerband) recorded these 13 tracks. The Swaggerband
didn't get together to rehearse beforehand, but they stayed in the
studio until they got it right.
Of the tunes, I think my favorite would have to be
the title track, "The Day After," a cheery, bouncy little ditty about
how even though it's the day after the end of the world, the singer is
in love, so everything's great.
"In the Jailhouse Now" stands out because of the
ukulele accompaniment (played by Jamie Mathews) and the yodeling
chorus, which gives the tune an old-time country air, as though it
wouldn't have been out of place to be performed on Hee-Haw. The
infectious beat of the one instrumental piece, "The Hanwell Shuffle,"
makes for a fingers-tapping-on-keyboard, chair-dancing good tune.
There is a certain sameness to each track; the
tunes are quite melodic -- some are melodic and cheery, some melodic
and sad. Except for the plinking ukulele of "In the Jailhouse Now,"
Swill's singing is accompanied by rolling guitar with occasional violin
and harmonica ornamentation. The tempo of each song varies little from
each other song. This produces a consistency from track to track, so
that nothing here sounds out of place or causes the listener to sit up
in alarm, wondering, "What the heck were they thinking with this?"
It would have been nice to have the lyrics for
each song included in the liner notes; I'm not necessarily a genius
when it comes to picking out lyrics, and even with repeated listening I
missed a great deal of "The Story" and "Lost in the Flood."
There are few CDs that make my workday rotation;
The Day After will be one of them.
written by Laurie Thayer
published 22 January 2005
Source: Rambles.net, 22-Jan-2005