Some bands take the path to re-invention by a highly circuitous route, preferring to make incremental changes song by song. Not so The Take Home, a four-piece that Americana fans knew and admired previously as The David Latto Band. They’ve announced a marked change with a new single that at first glance seems more like a decision to rip it up and start again than mere re-incarnation.
The Way I’m Living Now is an out and out, big-time rock ballad with arena appeal and the kind of relentless momentum that begs for a big room. Produced by Stephen Watkins of Broken Records and Stanley Odd fame, it’s a clearly been crafted to punch a hole in the roof with a pugilistic drum sound worthy of a George Foreman uppercut.
The dynamic is by the book, but Gavin Brady’s guitar drives a coach and horses through the melody that hints at an assertive, independent streak, bordering on punk irreverence for accepted forms and received wisdoms.
Nevertheless, the band haven’t entirely turned their backs on the southern-fried flavours that characterised their previous alt country and bluegrass output. Latto’s soft-centred vocal, probably quite unwittingly, speculates what a young Jackson Browne might have sounded like if he’d had Guns ‘n’ Roses behind him rather than the Eagles.
It will be interesting to see which radio shows pick this up, since it has a foot squarely in two camps and succesfully constitutes a neat piece of crossover that will appeal to country rockers and rocking truckers.
The Way I’m Living Now is out now and is coupled with Whatever It Is, which is perhaps less convincing as a rock anthem. It’s a neat pop song with a nice verse melody, a loping bass line and a dense wash of guitar chords.
“I don’t know what I’m looking for..”, sings Latto, echoing sentiments previously expressed by Teddy Thompson when he tried to graduate from straight country to straight ahead rock. It took Thompson three albums to ring those changes. Here, The Take Home demonstrate on these two songs the benefits of making a quick, clean break with the past, and perhaps make a bigger statement as a result.
The Take Home are: David Latto, Gavin Brady, John Mather, John Alexander