Graham Day The Master Of None; one of the founding fathers of the British garage rock movement returns to Countdown Records to release his debut solo album out 25 March.
Countdown Records are proud to announce the return of Graham Day to their roster. Their relationship with Graham stretches back to 1986 when his renowned band The Prisoners released their album In From The Cold on the label.
Fronted by Graham on vocals and guitar, The Prisoners were a pioneering and inspirational 80s British garage band, who fused beat-era rock with R&B, American garage and psychedelia. A restless and independent spirit, Graham has released albums under many guises, including: Solarflares, Graham Day and The Forefathers, and current group, The Gaolers. Graham has also worked as a producer and a long-time collaborator with fellow Kent coast musician Billy Childish, briefly playing drums in Billy’s group The Mighty Caesars and later bass in The Buff Medways.
Graham’s debut solo album Master Of None is more the result of circumstance than by design. Demoing songs for the third Graham Day and The Gaolers album, Graham’s plans were scuppered by lockdown – with a drummer based in the U.S. there was no real chance of recording the album in the foreseeable future.
Hating to dwell on a song – if it’s not completed in 5 or 10 minutes, he tends to cast it aside – yet with no real prospect of making a band album anytime soon, Graham set himself the challenge of trying to turn his Logic Pro X demos into an album proper. Building each track up from scratch, he added bass guitar, Hammond and congas to the exciting vocal and electric guitar track, and the most challenging instrument of all, drums. These had to be played along to the demos which were built on quantised computer drum tracks.
The resultant 12-track album is a remarkable achievement. It defies the fact it’s been pieced together, sounding more like a live studio album recorded by a full band.
Very much a traditional two-sided LP, side one kicks-off with the garage-fuzz ‘A Rose Thorn Sticking in Your Mind’s Eye’ and is followed by the Kinksian ‘Out of Your Narrow Mind’. Next up, the title track alludes to the album’s creation process – writing all the songs and playing all the instruments – and features a lyric about trying to live up to life’s expectations.
‘Stranger on a Joyride’ questions the culture of supposed ‘friends’ on social media, while ‘I Will Let You Down’ is a four-chord riff and raw power track reminiscent of the punk groups who inspired Graham to form his first band. Slowing the tempo slightly, the side closes with ‘A Grain of Sand (That Gets Washed Out To Sea), an apology to the world for his apathy, it features Graham playing a Danelectro electric sitar, an instrument he has been trying to get on record for years.
Side two begins with the violent ‘You Lied To Me’, which was influenced by the vibrato guitar of The Lyres’ ‘Help You Ann’. The side then works its way through five more thrilling songs, including one of Graham’s personal favourites, ‘Eyes Are Upon You’. This track combines an aggressive guitar riff (played on guitar/amp combo a Danelectro 59 and Vox AC30), and a pretty tune with thunderous, driving drums.
Exploring his love of Motown, ‘Don’t Hide Away’ nods to the Four Tops, turning out melancholier than dancey with a haunted Hammond line. ‘Pointless Things’ is a no-frills track, written with the sole purpose of being great to play live. Though as a songwriter Graham is wary of writing political songs, album closer ‘Time is Running Out’ nods to humanity’s devastating impact on the planet, with music almost emulating destruction – with its frantic 12-string guitar riff and pumping compression, the song is intentionally played too fast and ends with a wail of backwards guitar.
Packed full of great hooks, melodies, killer riffs and Graham’s gift for writing a short, sharp visceral garage-pop song, The Master Of None is one of his finest albums to date. Full of youthful exuberance it belies its creator’s years and is the sort of album younger garage bands would love to create.
The Master Of None will be available on LP, CD and across digital platforms.
A Rose Thorn Sticking in Your Mind’s Eye
Out of Your Narrow Mind
The Master of None
Stranger on a Joyride
I Will Let You Down
A Grain of Sand (That Gets Washed Out To Sea)
You Lied To Me
Eyes Are Upon You
Don’t Hide Away
All That You Become
Time is Running Out
Pre order The Master Of None at the following link