Steve Cradock - The Kundalini Target
Review by Jack Foley
LIAM Gallagher has described the debut solo album by former Ocean Colour Scene guitarist Steve Cradock as “a modern day George Harrison All Things Must Pass“, while Paul Weller has stated that “these are great songs… inspired by life and love”.
Weller is biased… he appears vocally and on guitar over several tracks! But Liam Gallagher’s comments don’t stray too far from the truth.
The Kundalini Target is an assured debut that really makes you question why it’s taken so long for Cradock to get round to it.
The songs veer between classic British psychadelic pop, more modern Brit-pop, folk rock and the type of stuff that everyone from George Harrison, The Beatles, Ocean Colour Scene and, yes, Oasis would be proud to call their own.
The themes are simple – laments about love, life, loss and the union of marriage – and the delivery similarly so. But they’re steeped in old-school traditions where songwriting comes first and foremost.
There aren’t too many extravagant guitar solos, and each track is delivered with heartfelt sincerity. And it’s the type of record that just keeps getting better with each listen.
Weller crops up to deliver additional vocals on The Apple, Beware of Falling Rocks and Still Trying, as well as playing 12-string guitar on Paint Your Picture and, in truth, his presence is felt even when not around (Cradock, vocally, is hauntingly reminiscent of the Modfather).
Needless to say, it’s hard to pick out highlights as so many of the tracks come close to representing them.
Album opener Something Better sets the standard early, dropping a well-crafted chorus around some finely layered instrumentals and a keen sense of style.
But Apples is a really great listen, drawing on piano, Running Away is an instant classic, On And On opens with a spine-tingling guitar riff before settling into a proper George Harrison-style number, and The Clothes They Stood Up In is a real charmer that’s delivered with a breezy swagger tailor-made for the summer festival season.
Later on, It’s Transcendental delivers another of my personal favourites, reminding me of early Blur during its chorus, and Beware of Falling Rocks draws things to a close in effortlessly brilliant fashion.
Indeed, Cradock barely puts a foot wrong throughout, making The Kundalini Target a debut album you really need to hear.
Download picks: Something Better, The Apple, Running Away, It’s Transcendental, Beware of Falling Rocks