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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bandera - Knights

Name: Bandera
Album: Knights
Year: 1981
Style: Southern Rock, Pub Rock
Similar Bands: Ted Nugent, ZZ Top, Fabulous Thunderbirds, T Rex
"One-Word" Review: Neighborhood Honky Tonk Pub
Based Out Of: Bandera, TX
Label: MCA Records
 Knights - Cover & Record
Knights - Back & Record
Knights (1981)
  1. Billy the Kid 3:31
  2. Loaded Gun 4:53
  3. Crazy You, Crazy Me 4:44
  4. High Ridin' Mama 2:15
  5. Memories of Home 4:32 /
  6. Hello Texas 3:55
  7. Illegal 4:11
  8. Now That It's Over 3:22
  9. Old Rhymes & Photographs 3:51
  10. Blame it on the Full Moon 5:05
Album Rating (1-10): 6.5

Members & Other Bands:
Paul Uhrig - Bass, Vox (Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band, Linda Hargrove, Jim Rooney, Earl Scruggs,Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Mac Gayden,  Ricky Van Shelton, Dolly Parton)
Tom Jones - Drums, Percussion (John McCutcheon)
Harry Robinson - Guitars (Ian Matthews, Jim Rooney, Joe Sun)
Leon Tsilis - Producer, Album Concept
Pat Higdon - Producer
Dale Jackson - Vox (Peggy Lacey)
Eric Butler - Vox, Guitars (Rainravens, Boilers, II D Extreme, Wintley Phipps, Groove Theory, Spur of the Moment, The Layaways)
Lore Orion - Vox, Rhythm Guitar, Album Concept, Art Design
Gary Laney - Engineered
Glenn Meadows - Mastering
George Osaki - Art Direction
Kelly Delaney - Personal Managment
Jeff Moseley - Personal Managment

Unknow-ness: I've never heard of the band, and with the Imagery of cacti bursting up through a city street, I imagine this is going to be a country spin on run of the mill rock music.Plus the double meaning in the name Knights, since cowboys are like Knights, and the city night-life is the backdrop on the cover, the double entendre supports the guess more. It is bright and colorful, so I don't expect the music to be low key or dull.

Album Review: Bandera only had the one album, and in its time, it did not receive that much popularity, but since then, a bunch of the Lore’s songs have been covered to gain more popularity by Tim McGraw (Illegal). Lore unfortunately passed away in 2013, and was perhaps more famous for his role as founder and president for life for the public interest group Citizens For a Wilder West. Many of the songs, they take the instrumental that usually bridges the second and final choruses and move it to end the song.

“Billy the Kid” begins with a speedy boot stomping bass dance beat. Like a sped up Johnny B Goode. The catchy chorus rings out with a harmony of vocals. The instrumental lets the country music side sine with slide guitar and tinny notes. Just as you think the song is going to end; it reboots itself for a final run through of the chorus. And the song presents a final fake-out before it stops hard.
“Loaded Gun” is slower and methodical. A slow head band of mystical prog fogginess; a little Led Zeppelin-like. After 3 minutes of changeless music, a computer like guitar lick changes the pace of the instrumental, and then an electric guitar whines out in support of the melody.
“Crazy You, Crazy Me” enters with a cymbal and steady drum beat. A T-Rex “Bang a Gong” guitar echoes in the background, and the pub room country theme takes shape. After the bones of the song play out, the jam band portion of the song takes over, as each instrument offers its uncalled for version of the melody.
“High Ridin' Mama” is a short little song with pub rock harmonic melodies and gritty guitar play. But it still has both feet imbedded in the country arena.
“Memories of Home” hits a more sentimental, drifting vibe musically. It floats side to side over guitar chords the ring out alongside a slow drum pace. Again, the first half of the song is a tight packed by the numbers rocking ballad, but the last minute is guitar showboating after interest in the song has been lost.

“Hello Texas” is a fun bouncy, upbeat choreographed western dance song you could see people dancing in time to at a small neighborhood pub. The song could have ended right at the 3 minute mark, but they decided to show off more guitar licks to end the track, rather than bridge the catchy chorus one final time.
“Illegal” was covered by Tim McGraw on his 2002 album. It brings a bit of a funky beat in the guitar timing. But when the vocals begin, it slinks back to a deep reminiscing verse. The chorus is layered with some nice harmonies, and is supported by prog-rock guitars. And after a crescendo of vocals and instruments, not to mention a quickened pace, the song should end, but instead, they wail out a minute and a half dueling guitar instrumental that gently fades out.
“Now That It's Over” begins with a heartbeat bass line, and a metal guitar hook fits neatly in the frames. The vocals start with a crying energy, set back from the front, and reminds me of a lot of 70’s middle America classic rock like what you’d find in Dazed and Confused. One guitar focuses on the main riff, and the second guitar takes the instrumental high ground.
“Old Rhymes & Photographs” enters like a lullaby, and continues like a bold middle school dance power ballad in the chorus.
“Blame it on the Full Moon” bleeds right in after some seamless point from the song before. It has a much more energetic tempo than the previous song, but it follows the same melody. There is much more glam rock teetering on country rock line walking here, sounding like T Rex’s more honky tonk songs, at least in the guitar. Again, just as the song should be over, and interest is lost on the basic melody, the instrumental stretches it out further...this time, bringing it back into a rushed version of the chorus. Which fades out before it hyperventilates. 

Standout Track: Billy the Kid

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