It is always fun and interesting to receive a debut album because I never know how it is going to turn out. It could be a masterpiece or the band could still be working their sound out. You never know, but The No Refund Band might as well have been together for decades at this point. Founded in 2007, The No Refund Band consists of Mike Crownover (guitar), Ricky Jackson (vocals/guitar) and Rik Robertson (bass) and features Anthony Terry (saxophone), Jim Brady (trumpet), and Walter Cross (drums). Their genre mixing sound is sure to satisfy.
Kicking the album off is “Blues Is My Business.” It is a strong start and is sure to pleasure and bring the listener into the music. Changing up the pace is the relaxing “Come Down Slow.” I would recommend this song after having a bad day. There is something so calming about the music. “Eleanor Rigby” is a cover of The Beatles original. It is not quite at the same level as their version, but this one is still damn good. I mean, topping The Beatles is not exactly an easy thing to do. It is always interesting to see a song be covered across genres. The end of the song is just fantastic, though. Next up is the beautiful duet “Fall Again.” “Just to Be Blue” is another duet, but I prefer the previous one. There is something lacking for me. It is not a bad song, though. Its placement right after “Fall Again” gives you an opportunity to make a comparison between the two tracks. “Fall Again” being a more romantic and tender song to the louder “Just to Be Blue.”
Keeping the album going strong nearing the halfway point, “Got Whiskey” is a cracking song with a sweet drum beat throughout the song. “Soul Shine” is a wonderful and lively song. In “Spain Prelude” the trumpet is on full display. “Never Been to Spain” is my candidate for the best song on the album. It is hard not to like this song with its powerful vocals and impressive music. “Top Slide” is a fun and amusing song about aging. “Willie the Wimp” ends the album on a high point with its rocking guitar.
The No Refund Band’s self-titled debut is an impressive effort. The skill and quality of their songs are those of seasoned veterans. Their blues/rock sound is sure to appeal to a wide range of music lovers and I am sure that they will win over many of first time listeners and turn them into full-time fans.
Key Tracks: Blues Is My Business, Never Been to Spain, Top Slide,
Brian McKinnon – Sr. MuzikReviews.com Writer
September 29, 2012