The Deal: Debut disc from band featuring Dhani Harrison, son of George, gets in-store release roughly six months after online.
The Good: When I first popped the disc in the player, I thought, "Oh good. Another celebrity's offspring trying to get into the business." Halfway through the first song, I thought, "Wow! I need to give this some serious listening time." From the opening riff and cymbal tapping of "So Vain," you get the impression that Harrison may have gone the way of his father and kept things going with a simple, straightforward rock. The song slowly builds on to that simple start and adds effects and guitar layers until it gathers and unleashes a subtle indie-rock energy and adds modern electronic effects without them being too overpowering. There are other moments when the technology can become a little overbearing, but it usually blends in well with the music to give it a more modern feel. There's a nice balance on the disc – while "Bluesy" may have gone the electronic route, it's followed by the straightforward rock of "Yomp." A good bit of the appealing final track, "Life Off," is simply Harrison, an acoustic guitar and drums.
The Bad: It's not bad, but wow – Harrison looks just like his father, to the point where it's almost spooky. I would have preferred less electronic-sounding drums on "Bluesy." Never one to prefer falsetto, I can't say I was a big fan of "Hiding Out."
The Verdict: A hell of a lot better than I expected it to be. Add this one to the early running for best of 2009.