Beautifully packaged and presented, not least for the generous helping of bonus tracks, this is an album you can enjoy if you're prepared to ignore the question of what is cool. Frontman Jeff Christie had already recorded as a member of The Epics and The Outer Limits, two obscure pop bands of the late 1960s. With Christie he attempted to make music with a rougher edge, but it's evident from this album that he could never stray far from his pop tendencies. The result is a collection of memorable tracks that have a touch of grittiness without ever being convincing as rock songs. Just to confuse matters, many of the songs are taken at a simple country-styled tempo while employing rock-styled guitar.
Their biggest hit, "Yellow River", is a typical example. The memorable guitar intro suggests a rock song which is then belied by a more down home rhythm. The decision to write mock Americana is another complication. Ultimately, this English band make music that isn't authentic or fully committed to any genre but works on a simple level. Then again, if an Englishman can find fame with a song about Amarillo, why can't Christie do the same with "San Bernardino"? This is a lovely song, though it suffers from a weak production.
There are highlights among the non-singles too, the prowling guitar of "Country Boy" for instance, but this is an album of minor fluctuations in what is sustained quality. Only the production, which often holds back the rhythm, is suspect. For lovers of pop without prejudice, this is a good value album.