As a renowned session guitarist – notably working with Peter Gabriel for the last 20-odd years – David Rhodes has a reputation that’s tough to match. Yet as with most session men, there’s clearly been a desire to record and release his own material away from his day job.
His debut solo album, Bittersweet, may have partially sated that craving but with Rhodes he’s further sharpened his approach, disregarding any superfluity and producing a punchy recording that’s rich in texture and energy. Indeed, it’s surprising, given the depth of the songs, that Rhodes the band is only a three-piece, with the guitarist being joined by the equally adept bassist Charlie Jones and drummer Ged Lynch.
The tracks are similar to Gabriel in their approach, having a quirky pop frame with progressive elements blending in to enhance the sound. If I Could Open My Head and Monkey On My Back are typical of Rhodes’ compositional style, both being upbeat with catchy choruses.
Crucially, Rhodes becomes more gratifying with every listen and although there are some who will deem the material too mainstream, this is a shrewdly constructed album containing some fine songs.