Sunday, June 26, 2016

RIVER DETECTIVES-Saturday Night Sunday Morning (1989)


How about a surprise blast from the past to pop up for this last Sunday night of the month? While I was navigating through the sea of artists in the 'R' entries of my music collection, my eve-watchful eyes got alerted to someone whom I literally haven't heard in years: THE RIVER DETECTIVES. Remembering this Scottish folk rock duo did indeed require some detective work on my part, having completely forgotten about their earliest professional recordings that had since become a total mystery to me, even though "Love's Like A Needle" stuck out at me like sore thumb. Therefore, I declared it was time for a full listen to their 1989 debut, "Saturday Night Sunday Morning". The mystery soon became solved—well, at least partially in regards to their signature sound—the moment I filled up on the 4+ minutes of melodic new wave-flavored goodness that is "Love's Like A Needle". I like the similarity that they draw between love and a needle: sharp and painful. Just good songwriting all throughout, and the somber melody in conjunction with the duo's punk-inspired vocals makes for something that's sure to stay stuck with you once the final beat of this song drops out. THE RIVER DETECTIVES, as I concluded after my 40+ minute journey of navigating through their cool waters was complete, is a fitting name for them, considering how I could characterize many of the songs here as having that lonely-guy-sitting-on-the-shore-of-a-river folk sound—at least that's the image that pops up into my mind when I hear the soft, mellow nature of these tunes. "The State Of Grace" is the first to grace your ears that would lead you to form the same conclusions, having a soothing easy-listening air about it with the light guitar acoustics and soft piano while they tell the touching story of how a man can love and hate with the same hand. It's that same acoustic guitar intimacy flowing through such offerings as "You Won't Listen To Me", "The Ashes And The Tears" and "Train Song" that makes for lovely moments of music-listening as well. Rolling deeper down the river, you'll get a rush out of the peppy rhythm and the spurts of jazzy spunk on "A Deeper Love" (and I'm amazed that, for such a fun track, they only made this song three-minutes deep; it's too short!) while "Promises And Spite" promises to get you into the dancing spirit. Something that all the folks will like: the duo's short ditty of a number that is "Factory", where you get to enjoy their collective acpella harmony while they tell the simple story about a hard-working man and the hard-working life. Then going down to the farthest point of this river, we have the old-fashioned country spirited "I Go Falling". Haven't heard of THE RIVER DETECTIVES? Why not hitch a ride with me on the riverboat queen and discover that this Scottish duo is all about?

1. Love's Like A Needle
2. Chains
3. The State Of Grace
4. Promises And Spite
5. Factory
6. Saturay Night Sunday Morning
7. Will You Spin Me Round?
8. You Don't Listen To Me
9. You Don't Know A Thing About Her
10. The Ashes And The Tears
11. A Deeper Love
12. Saturday Night Sunday Morning (Reprise)
13. Train Song
14. I Go Falling

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