John Lees’ Barcl ay James Har­vest

North (2013)

Guitar Techniques - - Music Reviews -

Es­o­teric An­tenna

When Barclay James Har­vest down­sized to be­come a trio then fi­nally split in 1998 due to ‘mu­si­cal dif­fer­ences’, that seemed to be the end of the story. How­ever, as with so many good bands the pub­lic wanted more. The dif­fer­ences clearly couldn’t be re­solved so for the last few years there have been two ver­sions of the band: Les Hol­royd’s and this one headed by gui­tarist John Lees. The over­all sound of North is all it should be, the em­pha­sis be­ing on in­te­grated in­stru­men­ta­tion; John’s de­cep­tively sim­ple gui­tar work un­der­pin­ning each track, then be­com­ing a fea­ture. This is par­tic­u­larly ev­i­dent on songs like On Leave, which dra­mat­i­cally builds to­wards its end, and the creamy tones of the solo on The Real Deal. The ti­tle track is a wor­thy choice and here Lees re­ally gets to shine. This is good melodic rock, fo­cused on the softer side of the genre with lush har­monies and sound­scapes. It’s a very well ex­e­cuted al­bum in­deed. In keep­ing with cur­rent trends it’s re­leased in CD, dou­ble digi­pack and heavy­weight vinyl LP. Fans will love it but give it a try and you may too.

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