Review Summary: One of the best Blues Rock albums I've ever heard by an almost unkown classic rock band. Think early Led Zeppelin and Allman Brothers and your halfway there...1 of 1 thought this review was well written
Wishbone Ash's fifth effort and first with guitarist/vocalist Laurie Westfield, who would steer the band's creative energy for the next 11 years. The album contains some of Wishbone Ash's classics, the drug induced 'F.U.B.B' (which caused major controversey due to it's acronymn: ***ed Up Beyond Belief) which was a lenghty instrumental jam, written while the band were on their collective high's in the studio. The haunting bluesey 'Persephone' with it's juicy twin guitar lines soon became a live classic and 'Lady Jay' with it's disturbing lyrics, depicting the story of the Dartmoor Folk story 'Jay's Grave'. With yet another album cover produced by Hipgnosis, There's The Rub is a forgotten classic.
The albums kicks off with the twinkling introduction to 'Silver Shoes', with it's building base line and guitar riffs eventually tells the story of a woman desperation to become a famous film star, the song contains a classic example of a Wishbone Ash song. Witty lyrics, brooding basslines, searing guitar solo's and varying time changes, which of course eventually lead the band to a section upon which extensive jamming can take place during live performaces. Silver Shoes is as good a start to an album as any and set the standards high for the rest of the recording.
The second song, a more up tempo record, that begins with it's shimmering introduction, and within a few bars is transformed into a Speedy, powerchord driven blues rock anthem. With guitar licks filling each gap between the vocal lines and the stop start rythm between the verses, Don't Come Back really hit's home the opening Blizzard of Rock melodies, to liven up the beginning of the album, The song finishes the opening of the album with a heavy crescendo of riffery and blues scale mastery.
The tempo slows down here, as the introductory part of 'Persephone' opens up and gives way to the mysterious and encompassing lyrics. Chords twanging on every sixth beat, this sixth eight blues number, with complicated lead lines and clever rythm section, with a bassline to match any laid down by Entwistle and Jack Bruce. The solo contains intresting twin lead guitar parts equipped with a phaser pedal of somekind, the album really settles down after this song.
The next song would seem to be the only downfall, 'Hometown' is what appears to be another standard issue rock song, along the same lines as the opening two tracks. Whilst nothing itself is bad with the song, it would seem that it doesn't bring another diversity to the album that the following tracks would. Maybe placing this one before 'Persephone' would have lead to better results...
The next song, 'Lady Jay' floats around with it's fantastic fade in beginning, the song mixes clever folk inspired melodies on what sounds like a mandolin over the top of acoustically strummed chords mixed with the driving riffs and basslines that the Ash have become famous for. The lyrics as I said before inspired by the folk tale/myth of
'Jay's Grave'. The song is in my opinion, the best on the album with one of my favourite Wishbone Ash riffs (the one after the second verse) and one of my favourite all time Rock solo's. Classic rock right here. Tremendous song.
The relativaly short album (in track amount anyways) climaxes with the almost 10 minute long instrumental epic 'F.U.B.B'. The song kicks off with a heavy brooding riff, which is harmonised by the duel guitars. The song travels at a relativly slow pace for the majority of the song before a quick, prog inspired time change takes place and a looped sequnce is played under a mass of searing guitar solo's. A song destined to last hours on the stage, a jam song if there ever was one!