Essentially a vehicle for Yorick Cormack, erstwhile principal songwriter with Glasgow’s Endrick Brothers, First Charge of the Light Brigade’s eponymous debut album slots comfortably into the same CD stack as those by the likes of Teenage Fanclub, The Byrds, Trashcan Sinatras and Wilco. From which you’ll gather it’s predominantly alt-country/folk rock with a plethora of chiming guitars, summery, airy melodies, though, as on something like the rippling acoustic Second Hand Love, there’s also touches of the Celtic twilight to the mood.
For better or worse, it opens with its two strongest numbers, the military marching beat My One Track Mind with its circling guitars and soaring chorus, and the Byrdsian tumble of the intriguingly titled Postcards (From Randy Newman). Unfortunately, the rest of the album doesn’t quite live up to the expectations raised, though that’s not to dismiss the likes of the ringing pop Civil War, the waltzing Waiting Round The Corner which has the same sort of intangible Glaswegian feel that infuses work by both Deacon Blue and the Blue Nile, or the McCartneyish strum-along, saloon piano accompanied Angel’s Share (a term with which whisky connoisseurs will be familiar) that features Roddy Hart on backing vocals.
It’s early days yet, and there’s enough here to suggest there’s better, stronger work ahead, but, regardless of what the future brings, Cormack has ridden into the valley of solo album death and lived to tell the tale.
Review by: Mike Davies
Released on Aquataine Recordings