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CD REVIEW: Brian Cline Band - Within Without
By Ben Ohmart - 05/21/2007 - 10:34 AM EDT

Artist: Band: Brian Cline Band
Genre: Pop/Rock
CD Review:
What one remembers about the Brian Cline Band debut, Hold the Keys, is that here is an act that is establishing itself. With the basics. Good performances wrapped around tight, catchy material. We were all fish back then, going for the shinny, exciting hooks that Cline and company dangled before us. Now he’s back to cast 5 more songs, and we couldn’t be more pleased.

That first release did a lot for them. National distro; festival touring from NY to CA; songs included in soaps Another World and Passions, plus MTV’s Undressed and IMAX Theaters; heavy airplay, and a good N. California following. When you hear Within Without, you’ll understand at once all the truth. No hype involved.

‘Day To Day’ lays guitar upon guitar for its opening, marshaled in by some great Paul Batres drumwork, everything directed superbly by Brian Cline’s soft rock vocals that radiate with a sheen not often given out with such amicable invective.

For drivin’ music, go into the simple beat of ‘What’s On My Mind’ and cheer at the backing vocals that make this an immediate Cline classic. But we must’ve forget Rob Sherman’s powerhouse guitar creations that keep these tunes rocking the automobile regardless of the road. Cline himself takes up acoustic guitar, beautifully adding a full Matchbox 20 kinda sound to the highly pop ‘Sea of Lies’ especially. One of the best.

If this music were any more radio-friendly, it would start passing out cigars and bucking for loans. Where are the smart suits of major labels? That they haven’t picked up an act like this makes one seriously doubt the credibility of such a powerful industry. Straight pop-rock, or rock-pop, with no qualms about friendly-vibe tossing, that be BCB. The Beach Boys of their kind, perhaps. Counting Crows for fans wanting to start over from scratch and discover just how wondrous and natural the world’s most necessary genre can get.

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