By David O’Neill

Artwork for Restless by The CommonersThis is the second album from Canadian roots rockers The Commoners. The first one, ‘Find A Better Way’ found its way onto a regular rotation on my work journey since I saw them supporting Samantha Fish and Jesse Dayton on the ‘Deathwish Blues’ tour earlier this year.

The first track, ‘The Devil Teasin Me’ will be very familiar to Planet Rock listeners having made its way onto the regular playlist. Shake you off opens up with a seriously catchy riff that will instantly ring bells with many listeners. Add in the vocals of Chris Medhurst and it takes you back to good ole fashioned rock n roll.

‘The Way I Am’ is another track that many PR listeners will be familiar with, another great track with a great hook and chorus that can be sung by any crowd. The guitar solo of Ross Hayes Citrullo is a cracker. ‘Restless’ is a much slower, more country style of track giving Medhurst the opportunity to stretch his vocal cords a bit more and there is a much more languid guitar solo at the breakdown.

Did I say slow? Bang! ‘Gone Without A Warning’ reminds me of some Quo-like guitar riffage in parts but the sudden tempo change into the chorus will catch you out before the rapidfire return to the verse and the repeated change into the slower chorus leads into another great blues riff. ‘Who Are You?’ (not The Who version) is a real toe tapper, but still retains some nice supporting guitar riffs as well as the addition of the keyboards that adds a different dimension to this track but also much of the album.

‘Body And Soul’ is the longest track (5.31) on the album, it starts with another slowed down guitar riff that is equally well supported by the bass and drum section, but the vocals of Medhurst and the haunting, ethereal guitar throughout are definitely the star of this track.  This really should be played at Steelhouse Festival!

‘See You Again’ appears to be a ballad of remorse (for times missed) and loss of a loved one that may well touch emotions among the crowds where it gets played. Ready everyone… ‘phones up, lights on! ‘Too Soon To Know You’ is a full on upbeat homage to another lost love. It is a good track that will get played at many gigs I’m sure. It really builds to a crescendo that involves all the band contributing at the outro.

The final track, ‘All That We Have’, opens with a slow acoustic guitar opening and the solo vocal of Medhurst throughout. A much more gentle ending than the rest of the album portrayed.

If I thought ‘Find A Better Way’ was a good album, this has taken their composition to a whole new level.

I would really recommend you catch them on the upcoming tour… you really can’t find a better way (sorry guys)!

The Commoners July 2024 tour poster

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