Adam Franklin Bolts of Melody

Adam Franklin Bolts of Melody
This debut solo release from Swervedriver’s Adam Franklin diverges from his shoegazing roots and at times, dips its toe into the pool of adult contemporary. Opener "Seize the Day” is the best example of the album’s weaker points. In what was perhaps a decision to showcase Franklin’s versatility, this pop-a-rific track offers up the regular fare with mundane lyrics, melodic guitars and a few changes in tempo. Surprisingly, it is lacking any backing "oohs” and "ahhs” or handclaps. Grocery store-friendly tracks "Sundown” and "Shining Somewhere” are both built on simple chords and clear lyrics sung with a hint of regret. Luckily, the pop and the adult contemporary are merely flavouring and not representative of the majority of the material on Bolts of Melody. The most memorable moments, however, are reminiscent of Franklin’s old shoegazing ways. "Theme From LSD” is an instrumental that opens with a great guitar riff and continues to gain momentum with layered riffs that play off one another and propel the track forward at a gentle pace. "Ramonesland” closes the album with more of the same, which is to say it caps things off with an endearing amount of feedback. Franklin’s best tracks are the ones where the guitar is meandering, the drums heavy and plodding, and the vocals morose or non-existent. (Hi-Speed Soul)