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Articles Home » 2013 Articles » Raymond, Paul (Project) - 2013 Terms And Conditions Apply
 
Raymond, Paul (Project) - 2013 Terms And Conditions Apply



ARTIST: Raymond, Paul (Project)
ALBUM: Terms And Conditions Apply
LABEL: Hear No Evil Recordings
SERIAL: HNEDCD005
YEAR: 2013
SPONSOR: Lauren Archer, Grafik Media

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Paul Raymond - lead vocals, lead & rhythm guitars, keyboards * Andy Simmons - lead & rhythm guitars, keyboards * Mark Coles - bass, backing vocals * Tony Steel - drums, backing vocals

Guests: Michael Schenker - guitar 'Reach Out (I'll Be There)' * Rueben Archer - lead vocals 'Love Is Blind'

TRACK LISTING: 01 Born & Raised On Rock N Roll * 02 End Of Life As We Know It * 03 Deeper Shade Of Blue * 04 C-List Celebrity * 05 We Will Be Strong * 06 Terms & Conditions * 07 Whiskey Mac * 08 Bright Lights * 09 Reach Out (I'll Be There) * 10 Love Is Blind * 11 If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody * 12 Still The Same (bonus) * 13 Drifting Apart (bonus) * 14 Partners In Crime (bonus)

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.paulraymond.info


Background
Still a working member of British long-stayers UFO, Paul Raymond keeps busy during the off-season with his own project. Starting out in 1989, the first version of the band included Frank DiMino of Angel, and since then, PRP (Paul Raymond Project) have released six albums, the latest 'Terms And Conditions Apply' now available on the Cherry Red Records imprint label Hear No Evil Records. Well, there's nothing demonic about what Paul and his merry-men are out to achieve. A bluesy and groovy style of rock is what's on order, not too far removed from latterday UFO, Stampede and their kind. Raymond did say at the one point in his career that he liked what he heard with late 80's blues-based rockers out of the UK. Bands like The Quireboys, Thunder (UK) all struck a chord with him. The more I listen to this album I'm hearing so much of current-era (and a dose of previous era) UFO coming through that it's scary! To be expected really, Paul is a doppelganger for Phil Mogg's vocal style, the songs too are an easy mix of light-rockers and ballads with lyrics also following that UFO tradition of writing about the downtrodden and the hard luck stories of life.


The Songs
Leading off with 'Born & Raised On Rock N Roll', this one is a funtime rocker with that ever-present UFO style shining through. For Paul, I guess this would be quite hard to avoid, but nonetheless, he and his team add their own little twist to things.

The guitar melodies for 'End Of Life As We Know It' are very nice. So too the lead guitar work which has a great tone. It sorta has a poppy side to it, but the lead guitar ensure things don't get to out of hand.

With a name like this, 'Deeper Shade Of Blue' has a bluesy vibe, the lyrics again straight out of Phil Mogg's lyric-book. It does keep to a rock edge, so it doesn't quite slide off into Memphis territory.

'C-List Celebrity' is aimed at modern audiences with a modern sound and attitude. A pisstake for sure, I wonder if the songtitle refers to all the 'X-Factor', 's Got Talent! and Idol?

'We Will Be Strong' is the piano ballad on the album. A bit Elton John and Queen influenced, but it works because the origins hark back to the classic days of the 70's.

There's a lot of acoustic guitar on 'Terms & Conditions'. Some piano parts drift in and out too, along with some orchestral passages. The guitar solo is clean, sharp and incisive.

'Whiskey Mac' is an instrumental with some Schenker like playing; and though Michael does play on this album, he's not featured on this track. It's Andy Simmons who's doing all the hard work.

'Bright Lights' is a surefire copy-cat of UFO's recent material, despite that, this is very likeable, the gentle acoustic strum with backing accordion on the verses makes a good contrast with the heavier chorus when it kicks in.

'Reach Out (I'll Be There)' is a cover of the Four Tops 1966 hit. Strangely, Michael Schenker plays on this, and despite that fact, this rendition is a hard sell. Though Schenker's guitar intrusions are familiar, the arrangement could've been better in my books.

Much better is Reuben Archer's lead vocal contribution on 'Love Is Blind'. A subtle understated affair that just works! Very nice.

The traditional blues of 'If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody' is a tell-tale sign of Raymond's origins. The original was recorded by Black aritst James Ray in 1962 a few months before he died. The harmonica is a nice touch.

The CD contains three bonus tracks too: 'Still The Same', 'Drifting Apart' and 'Partners In Crime'.


In Summary
'Terms And Conditions Apply' keeps things in the middle lane. Highly melodic, but neither too slow nor too fast. A musical equivalent of Goldilocks and the three bears? Not quite. I think it's a great move by Cherry Red Records to have a current and contemporary label such as Hear No Evil. I am extremely interested to see who else they sign onto the roster. Definitely a label to watch for in the future. In the meantime, Paul and his band (plus a few additional guests) played a launch party gig at the Borderline Club in London earlier in the month, a show which was appreciated by all.


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