Just look at that 'tache. Suits the music too as this debut from Michael Rault harks back to a 1970s when Badfinger reached the top of the charts and Big Star were the cool underground band who never quite made it. Think crisp power pop and open hearted folk strumming with careworn lyrics and useful facial hair.
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When I first heard Big Star I remember thinking how raunchy they sounded. It's something that is somewhat overlooked about them. They are dead raunchy.
By the looks of his moustache Michael Rault is raunchy and by the sounds of opener 'I'll Be There' he is musically raunchy too. This has all that Stax and soul inspired slinkiness about it but like Big Star it puts in clever chord changes and melodies just in case you thought for a minute you were listening to the Rolling Stones. On the title track Rault has that trebly Big Star guitar sounds right down pat. This is late night bar-room Big Star, slithering around in some sweat soaked Southern Bar.
He's not just Big Star though. He's someone else and that else is Sir Paul McCartney. 'Oh Clever Boy' is classic McCartney from the jingling guitars to the melodies your mother would know. Actually it's a bit too sugar-rushed like the worst of McCartney but that's McCartney for you. Every time a new track comes on I think that this one is going to be the classic. The one that has Rault's songwriting emulating his heroes but it never quite comes despite his best efforts. The production is glorious on this - so 70's. It's often like a lost Wings album playing out on the breeze on a hot summers day.
A sterling effort all round (including the moustache).
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