Everyones got demons, or so M Craft wishes.
An album entitled 'Demons' isn't likely to be an upbeat stadium filler but there are a lot of tortured hearts and minds in the world today so it's not necessarily a bad move on the commercial front. Ever since Robert Johnston and his soul-selling days, music and melancholy have went hand in hand, perversely cheering up thousands of listeners by convincing them there is always someone worse off than them.
Nowadays, any individual who appears as a singer songwriter is going to be compared to the unholy soulless wretches that are currently cluttering up the sales racks in Woolworths and the CD players of feckless nobodies who buy whatever Heat Magazine tells them to, so questions have to be asked about M Craft and the music on offer.
On first impression there seems enough of a difference to the bland outputs with varying rhythms and melodies interacting and creating a mixed and changing feel.
There are elements of David Crosby's 1960s wistful meanderings in the tracks and at least there is the feeling that many influences have been instrumental in making this album. Sometimes there are too many influences and there is a light calypso feel to some of the rhythm sections that move the album away from the sensible into the novelty.
The vocals rarely rise above a spoken volume and even when the guitars are kicking off around them, there is no sense of rush or pace to the delivery. Frustratingly, there is a likeness to Phil Collins in some of the vocal performances and whilst this may be pleasing to many, it fails to galvanise much emotion into the album and before too long, some of the songs start blending into one.
Track 5 travels at a fair rate, coming across as Simon and Garfunkel-esque, such is its lightness and ranging melody. It comes at a good point in the album, shaking the listener out of a malaise that was starting to creep in. Even the vocals have more snap to them than in other places.
So to answer the earlier question, how does M Craft compare to the current batch of individual money makers? Its hard to say for definite, at times there is an inventiveness and spirit that exists which flows well and wouldn't be mistaken for many other acts. You can tell that the 60s revolutionaries and melodic masters have influenced this record be it in the lyrical delivery or Track 7 which leans heavily on CSN&Y's 'Ohio.'
On the other hand, there is a lack of general excitement, each song tends to just exist rather than strive for greatness or push on. It seems like an opportunity wasted, there is clearly talent involved in this record but it hasn't been marshalled or channelled enough to reclaim song writing and talent back from the dark forces and money makers.
Repeated listens may find some of the more subtle melodies coming to life but there is a feeling of good but could have been better to the album.