Listening to Welsh band CVC’s debut Get Real is a lot like stepping into a pop/rock time warp machine set on the 70’s and early 80’s. It stands for Church Village Collective, borrowing their name from the village where the six-piece band formed in the south of Wales, near Cardiff. But before you get overwhelmed as you take in the sonic mélange of riffs and musical motifs borrowed from a pop station airplay list trapped in the past, you might find it helpful to know that this six-piece unit has a secret identity as the RagTag Wedding Band, where they promise to keep the bride and groom out on the dance floor rocking to covers like “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock n’ Roll).” They deliver all the crunchy rhythms, and shout along group vocals, without all that nasty, bluesy aftertaste.
While the band’s 11 track debut sports originals, a seasoned listener will have a hard time listening without working to connect each musical moment to its artistic influence. If you can get through the light funk of “Knock, Knock” without calling up the superior Boz Skaggs track, you’re a better person than I am. “Anago” channels the Beach Boys although they can only approximate Brian Wilson stacks of harmony vocals, although I have to admit that line about “last night I smoked all of my weed on my own” probably would have never made it on the b-side of “Little Deuce Coupe.” “Mademoiselle” dreams of being a Santana riff, with all the Latin rock bluster as you might expect from handful of Welsh guys, while “Woman of Mine” locks in on the white guys singing the blues thing that never gets old.
On the plus side, there’s a pretty good guitarist at work throughout the album, playing strong solos on a variety of the album’s tracks, the solo on the otherwise forgettable piano pop rock of “Sophie,” and in the punchier rhythm of “Docking The Pay” as well, suggests that once they lock in on something that feels more original, and real, this is a band that has a tight, well-produced sound. Once they’re ready to stop imitating their favorite oldies’ records and dig deep for some music that comes from inside, with real, raw emotions, they have a lot of the fundamentals worked out. In the meantime, I’ve got a hankering to hear a cover of BTO’s “Takin’ Care of Business.”
“Sophie” / “Docking The Pay” / “Woman Of Mine”
ARTISTS WITH SIMILAR FIRE
The Zombies / Average White Band / The Turtles