The Good Time Charlies - Pillars of the Community

Now here's another little unknown gem of an album that got released last year and yet slipped under the radar - well it slipped mine at least.

At 15 tracks it's a great value for money and is definitely a case of "no filler". Instrumental opener "Tricorn" is a very pleasant little rock 'n' roll ditty - insistent guitar supplemented with the occasional farfisa organ that takes you instantly back in time but it's not exactly representative of the rest of the album, which is chock full of the kind of classic song writing that frankly, I'd given up on hearing from a UK band. It's not exactly rock and it sure isn't glam - jangly Indie guitar band is as close as I can get but one free from hype and self-conscious posturing.

As I listen to it, there are nods to other bands and I'm reminded of The Loveless and Beat Angels. They too knew how to turn out perfect pop rock records, well played, crammed full of melodies and the odd wry little lyric that shows a keen observation of day-to-day life. The humorous "Howard Stern" - a tongue in cheek dig at the well-known shock rock DJ - could easily have fallen off a Trash Brats CD. Then again, "Fancy London Ways" could easily have been on any of Tom Petty's first couple of CDs though I doubt that his record label would have let him get away with a lyric like "who made you queen of f***ing everything?" or indeed the character assassination that makes up most of the lyrics.

I like lots of different styles of music but I'm a complete sucker for quality song writing and this delivers in spades. It's well played, the production is polished just enough to make it radio friendly without losing any warmth and they've got a rather excellent vocalist (or two) that can actually sing in tune. Live, I'll bet they're brilliant. The fact that these guys are not being played on the radio on a regular basis and making a decent living from this is just so so depressing. Go out, buy a copy and then plague your local radio stations and get them to play it too. A little cracker of a CD!

By Phil T.

Visit the Good Time Charlies Website