Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
The past is always alluring, it radiates and sparkles, it has a certain glow about it that the future cannot hold and only fails to emulate, like a rainbow seen through grime stained windows, the magnificence of memory outweighs the vision that could be seen if allowed to be viewed through clean and clear glass.
The past is Time’s way of showing us that Rock Bottom is nothing to truly be scared of; it may feel it at the time, it can burn and make anybody feel as though they have been crushed beyond recognition, but wipe the glass clean, take even a wet finger to it and push it against the window caked in grime and through the even the most wavering of smears, Rock Bottom is pushed aside by the glimpse of that rainbow.
Michael Landau latest album, Rock Bottom is more than a finger held up to smeared glass, or indeed up to the society that fails the majority, it is one though that points the way, that suggests the meeting of minds and ideals that was once espoused in the imagery of Joni Mitchell or Jim Morrison as he tempted the youth of America to join in the struggle against the unrelenting tedium, it is one that is married to the fierceness of a Voodoo Child and the burning familiar.
Surrounding himself with long time friends and collaborators in the passion of chasing the rainbow, David Frazee, Teddy Landau, Larry Goldings and Alan Hertz, tracks such as We All Feel The Same, One Tear Away, Freedom, Heaven In The Alley and Speak Now, Make Your Peace, speak loudly, vibrantly and without stuttering or faltering in their gigantic footsteps.
It is in the heroic we stand when we first believe we have reached the pit of our fortunes, what we soon find is that with guidance and determination to see the past as a friend and not the enemy, that it makes the future, that it makes the symbolic act of looking out the window and searching every horizon for the glimpse of the rainbow, that much more worthwhile.
Spiritual, bordering on the mystical voice, Rock Bottom is an album which asks you to make your peace with the world whilst storming up a brew of its own; a pleasure of memory, the honour of fighting back.
Michael Landau’s Rock Bottom is released on February 23rd. via Mascot Label Group/Provogue.
Ian D. Hall