Featherweight Champions Of The World

Rising above the implosion of his former band the Lotus Eaters, singer/songwriter/guitarist Ronald Cope and his two mates leave their musical DNA all over the power-trio format. Featherweight stylistically straddles the Atlantic; Cope's songs are both equally UK and North America. "Benign" is reminiscent of an early Humble Pie workout, but with thankfully much more elevated lyrics, while "North" is a quintessentially Canadian lament. "Sun In My Eyes" recalls the late '70s British invasion with hints of Joe Jackson and early Costello. But these influences are more an indicator of creative music lovers than imitators in the purgatory of rehash. As the album reveals itself, more than five different styles emerge, from roots to hard rock, making for a multi-dimensional listen. But what is most apparent is Mr. Cope's mastery of the guitar. Whether an authentic country flourish or a blistering metal shredding, he's pretty much got it all covered. (Independent)