This is Richard Davies first solo album as the front man having normally been more of a side man, but over the years heâ€™s also been an ever present on the London gig scene originally in Tiny Monroe and then in The Snakes as well as all sorts of other bands along the way. His band of Dissidents includes Tim Emery from Last Great Dreamers and Case Hardin and Chris Cannon from Mega City Four.
From the opening title track Human Traffic there is little doubt that this is an album of classic slightly off centre rock with great guitars and what always feels like a band playing live as Richard sings about how we are Human traffic passing by and well that's something that is a bit more difficult to be this year so it has an immediate feeling of nostalgia that is unintended.
Lay Me Low is a rather masterful re-working of the old Shaker hymn into something more reminiscent of Copperhead road era Steve Earle.
Way of The Wild is a great rock song about the hardships of trying to get by and it has a similar feel to late 70's Mink De Ville or late period Dion.
21st Century Man sounds like they are re-working an old J Geils Band song into an ode almost a celebration of modern times, only as everything has changed in the months between this being recorded and released it almost feel nostalgic for the days before Covid 19 as they wonder what it is to be free being sung with a good Peter Perrett style sneer to it.
Heartbeat Smile is a well-chosen cover of an Alejandro Escovedo song that they play like a classic rocker ready to get everyone singing along to it. Long Road (To Your Heart) is like a dispatch from the heart worn highways with just a regret or two for company.
Echo Road sounds like the sort of song that should be played regularly on drive time radio and will sound great to hear while trying to drive across town too, it might take me a few more listens to really nail down where I know part of the tune from though, as it sounds vaguely familiar, that's no bad thing at all as this is one of the best songs on this album.
No Master, No Guide has plenty of attitude as the tale at the songs core unfolds and the band let rip like Crazy Horse enjoying themselves, in the old days this might have been termed AOR but I hate to describe anything this good as being AOR.
Richard then covers his old band Tiny Monroe's Under The Skin as a bit of a glam romp indebted to Mott The Hoople this just sounds really cool.
The album closes with a very Rolling Stones sounding No Mans Land that asks us about what is real and what is fake that seems to be a central question of our times, it also allows Richard to play one more stellar guitar solo before the end of the album and that's to be welcomed as there doesn't seem to be a note wasted anywhere on this album.
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