Bevis Frond (The) - It Just Is (Music CD)

Release Date: 30 September 2016
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One of Saloman's more middling albums, It Just Is by no means is terrible, but like more than a few Bevis Frond releases, it doesn't reach much further beyond good craftmanship all around. The basic template of the Frond sound remains resolutely unchanged; Saloman maintains generally good voice while playing all instruments and otherwise overseeing everything down to the design. Frazzled rockers rub up against calmer numbers, keyboards flesh out the sound, and the slight air of world-weariness in Saloman's vocals continues. It's great for longtime fans who want their music just like that, but newer ones would be better served with other, more distinct releases.
All this said, a couple of fine numbers do surface from time to time that are worth more listens down the road. "Day One" has a stately feeling to it, thanks to the organ and keyboard work matched against gentle guitar work and steady drumming; Saloman's lyrics serve up some nice images here as well, opening with, "Judgment Day passed quietly/Nothing changed and no one died." Similarly downbeat, dreamy numbers include the brief "A Sorry Tale" with the killer line: "We turned our stoned, superior gaze on you." Slightly more raucous songs as the amusingly self-referential "Hit the Lights" and the perfectly titled "Human Overload," with drum stomps and death guitar riffs galore, show that no matter what the psychedelic hero rock trappings, Saloman can often conjure up a sweetly memorable hook to carry a song. Overall, this album is for the dedicated Frond obsessive more than anyone else. ~ Ned Raggett
Release Date: 30 September 2016