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Oh, how refreshing to hear real music once again. Strawdog (pictured), led by former Dorp guitarist Kevin Floyd, have rediscovered the art of writing a really good rock song. Unlike so many other bands, there is no wannabe angst and woe. Instead, Floyd’s compositions consist of real emotions.
Floyd’s adventure in Dorp lasted for 12 years. During that time this prolific group left for the UK. They signed a major deal with an indie label and produced six music videos. They were playlisted on BBC radio, MTV Europe and Kuzz TC. As they were about to reach the next level the recession hit and the label, Caned and Abel Records, went belly-up.
Floyd’s return to South Africa saw him focusing on the blues scene. After a few years he decided to form a rock band and release a new album.
The opening track is Gonna Ride Way, which is a story based on three friends of his who were in the British Army and were based in Afghanistan. All three of them were killed in that senseless war. “They thought they were justified in defending Britain,” explains Floyd. “One even said he was addicted to war.” The track is a melancholic ballad with some old-school grunge meets Dire Straits. It is while listening to this track that nostalgia kicks in.
It is great to hear music that has layers, songs which don’t have quirky lyrics.
There is plenty of electric guitar and a strong but understated bass line.
The next track, Broken, is slow with a big, loud anthemic chorus and it’s really catchy.
There is a Pixies guitar departure and again the bass is emphasised.
“I was inspired to do this album when I saw Radiohead’s Tom Yorke performing with Flea. It never sounded like Radiohead.”
The album is certainly inspired by real rock musicians. But then again, after more than 20 years in the music industry, Kevin Floyd is a bona fide rock musician who has the talent, understanding and cool credibility to be making music this fine.