Geoff Carne and The Hatz – Get Close | Album Review

geoffcarnecdGeoff Carne and The Hatz – Get Close

Self -Produced/AAVision UK

10 tracks/38:10

This recording reunites two musicians who once played in a band several decades ago. Guitarist Geoff Carne and drummer/percussionist Mick Hatz are joined by producer Paul Mex on bass and electric piano for an all-original program filled with music that is straight-ahead rock with a few brief glimpses of blues influences.

Possessing a strong voice, Carne brings plenty of life to the material as he pours his heart out over repetitive, crunching guitar chords. In an unusual change of pace, there is very little in the way of guitar solos. Hatz consistently supplies a solid beat that, combined with Mex’s solid bass patterns, inject a sense of rhythmic thrust in most tracks. The title track lurches along with Carne’s voice ringing out in a plea for a woman’s affection. The opener, “Out In The Country,” features his entreaty on escaping the bustle of city life. “Lost In You” finds Carne repeating the word “you” over a strong guitar riff.

Carne isn’t doing too well with a woman he adores on “Shot Down In Ten,” a track with plenty of drive. The lone ballad, “Another Piece Of Me,” is a sorrowful take on unrequited love. The band is at its best on mid-tempo rave-up, “Giving Me The Blues”. The next song, “Whatever Will Be,” mines the same territory, followed by “Who’s Fooling Who,” another mid-tempo selection that varies little other than lyrically from the previous two tracks.

The ninth cut, “Nine Miles To The Border,” offers a change-of-pace by keeping the vocals to a minimum in favor of plenty of guitar riffing. The final track is a reworking of the title song, this time with an arrangement featuring Mex on electric piano, presenting a change from the guitar-centered sound that is a stark – and welcome – contrast that highlights Carne’s fine voice.

The little variance in their approach and too many similar-sounding tunes, the band wages an up-hill battle to hold your interest. Generic lyrics fail to resonate and the lack of an instrumental voice to pair with Carne doesn’t leave much. But he makes much of the material interesting on some level with his vocal skills. Listeners who favor the rock end of the blues spectrum should enjoy this release.

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