John Easdale

Bright Side

John Easdale - Bright Side ©1998 Eggbert Records
1. Call Me Dave
2. Bright Side
3. 13th Summer Day
4. Waiting (for The Sound)
5. Drown
6. Breaking Things
7. Rollerskating On Rattlesnakes
8. Ecstatic
9. (It's Been A) Couple Of Years
10. Just Because
11. Don't Ask Me
12. Piss Take

I've been waiting quite some time for ex-Dramarama leader John Easdale to resurface. Dramarama was a prime favorite of my college days and their absence from the music scene has been nearly unbearable...especially after throwing on their classics Box Office Bomb or Cinema Verite. Ah, memories of playing Dramarama on every roadtrip, in the dorms and everywhere else.

So anyhoo, Easdale (who did all the songwriting for Dramarama) has spent the past few years being a family man to his herd of daughters and only recently has ventured back into the musical world. Rather than resurrect what would be a dinosaur, Easdale has taken the minimalistic approach, handling nearly all the instruments on the record (with the help from a few of his friends). The result is an album that takes the general feel of 1991's Vinyl as well as the acoustic secret Dramarama project The Bent Backed Tulips. Obviously Easdale's voice and compositions are what made Dramarama tick so Bright Side is instantly an identifiable and welcome listen. Overall, since Easdale isn't as accomplished of a musician as some of his former Dramarama mates, there is more of a garage feel and a rougher edge. That isn't to say Easdale is any slouch. It's still his songwriting that is the focus, particularly on the edgy "Rollerskating on Rattlesnakes", the title track or downhome "(It's been a) Couple of Years".

The only drawback is that Bright Side isn't quite as strong as the first three Dramarama albums. However, considering Easdale is over ten years older, the edge and lyrical stance will naturally be different. Regardless, it's wonderful to hear the man back in action and hopefully we won't have to wait another five years for more of his songs.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 11/1998

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