A horrible hack

Bill Foreman

17 Miles Past Indio

Year Released: 2003
Format: CD
Label: General Ludd
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
Ahem. Bill Foreman sent this CD many months ago. Perhaps even in the year 2002. That was the year it was released anyway. But due to my fumbling, bumbling and stumbling ineptness, I have not produced a review of it. Which is pretty sucky of me, because this isn't a bad CD. I mean, it's one thing to 'forget' to review the latest nu-metal-funk-pop-emo CD that gets sent in, but it's another matter entirely to not review a decent album. Hohum.

Over 40 minutes and 12 songs Bill indulges in a rather solid indie/college/country/throwback style (and I am missing a few here) - and it covers a fair bit of ground as this is an introduction to Bill's work. He's done 6 albums apparently! Productive. Musically, it is not something I am overly familiar with but I could attempt to compare it to something like Tom Petty or Neil Young perhaps. That's a good start. But where this record really sounds different is in its rather lo-fi-esque production. It has not polished up for mainstream radio consumption or to please a bunch of longhair college kids who want to go back to the 70's or whatnot. It sounds refreshingly DIY and gives it an endearing spirit that sits well with me, indicating that Bill is more concerned with writing and playing his music than in impressing some high falutin' record exec in New Yawk or something. Ace.

The songs are relatively simple as befits the style, with fairly straight forward (and pleasant) melodies, whilst Bill belts out his vocals over the top. Actually, Bill does everything on practically every song. He strums the guitar, he taps the drums, he plays the rather screechy recorder (?) on "I've Maintained My Advantage". I do presume that it isn't an actual one man band set up, with Bill sitting in a chair playing all the instruments at once, whilst a little tiny monkey sits on the ground beating a bass drum. Whilst we're on the subject, the variety of instrumentation on this record is good fun, with something new popping up every now and again. I have no idea what Bill is playing on the short'n'jazzy "the Professah" (it could be blades of grass), but it sounds pretty darn cool. And heck, instrumental "the Sun is a Mighty Lamp" sounds Russian or something at the start and covers all kind of ground before it finishes. I think it would have made a good piece for the film "Night on Earth" (check it out) for some reason. I think my favourite song is the title track which rounds things off with a nice rolling, melodic effort that sways side to side. There is some crazy flute on this one plus some other instruments and it really reminds me of something that I can't get my brain to summon up. Not to worry.

Well, however many months it took for me to write a couple of words on this record, at least it's done now. I have enjoyed listening this CD. Thanks Bill, and apologies for taking so darn long!

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