The Gracious Few – The Gracious Few (2010)

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Music

After a band breaks up, the post-fallout projects can take several forms: the contractually obligated solo album that its label consequently ignores (too many examples to list); the farce (Skid Row without Sebastian Bach, etc.); the fun, successful supergroup a’la Velvet Revolver or Damn Yankees; or the entirely new band, such as Audioslave, who add quality new music to the literature of rock ‘n’ roll from the pieces of their former selves, a gift to the fans of each band that could never have happened any other way.

The Gracious Few fall into the latter category, as their self-titled “debut” album (Live and Candlebox have about 20 years of history each) presents a balance of grit and sweetness, anger and tenderness, heartache and joy, all wrapped around a chewy cathartic center. Success and contentedness may enrich a band’s bank account, but good art comes from crisis, tension and having something to prove. Gracious Few’s self-titled release has the cohesiveness in sound of Live’s Distance to Here and the guts of their Secret Samadhi with the free-spirited, supple arrhythmia of Candlebox’s lyrical style. The album has imagery and metaphor, headbanging riffs and swaying melodies, crafted lyrics and overall wisdom that “new” bands just can’t muster. This record needs more ears and appreciation so that they have the freedom to keep touring and writing for this joint project.

The album began when the guys formerly from Live (minus Ed Kowalczyk) had a handful musical ideas, Patrick Dahlheimer said, and it coalesced when they got together to play and write with Candlebox’s Kevin Martin and Sean Hennesy. They worked out a good chunk of the music in four to five months, among sessions at Dahlheimer’s studio in Pennsylvania and in Sausalito, California, which is where the oceanic imagery on the record comes from. With Candlebox on hiatus for two years as they work out some contractual changes with their publishing company, Martin said this is expected to be his (and presumably Hennesy’s) focus through 2012. He promised that good things are in store – and this album is definitely one of them…

1. Appetite
2. Honest Man
3. Guilty Fever
4. The Few
5. The Rest Of You
6. Crying Time
7. Silly Thing
8. Closer
9. What’s Wrong
10. Tredecim
11. Nothing But Love
12. Sing
13. All I Hear

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