Whenever drummer Clementine is starting a new band, my interest and curiosity is great, because what she did has rhyme and reason. With her last project Francis Bakin, Clem has moved away from her hardrock roots without losing the blues. It was just more pop-influenced, which generally isn't something bad. At least not in my world. Not to be forgotten, of course, is her involvement in New York's all-female band Bottom. She also maintains close contact to the world of 70's rock with two cover bands named AC/Dshe and Zepparella. Well, ok, enough name-dropping, but I couldn't resist giving you all this informations before I concentrate my attention on her new band THE SOLID. This time there is no place for cover songs or musical experiments. Together with ex-members of Black Lamb, Bakers Dozen and Greenhouse Effect, THE SOLID is deeply rooted in the tradition of hardrock and rock 'n' roll.
'Arrivals and Departures' is the band's first self-financed release and offers five strong cuts. Particularly noticeable is vocalist Brian Hagman with a voice reminiscent of Ian Astbury. There's a remarkable similarity, but it is obvious that he doesn't try to imiate the frontman of The Cult. Brian's voice is in great shape and is consistently brilliant throughout the whole EP. The riffs of axeman Justin Caucutt ring out with clarity, verve and righteous bluesy squall. Check the southern blues influence of 'The Rich Girl and the Ranch Hand' or the additional acoustic guitar of 'm.a.b.e.l. (mother always brings extra love)', and you know what I'm talking about. The rhythm section, consisting of Greg Randolph and, of course, Clementine, plays extremely tight and variable. All of this added up to a true powerhouse band that never let up. I can imagine that THE SOLID could release their first album on Small Stone Records if they show interest. No matter what happens - this EP is an exceptionally good start.