Niall's Track by Track Commentary
Welcome to my album Eclectic Electric Volume 1.
As the title suggests, this is a collection of musical pieces that tries to demonstrate my somewhat eclectic tastes in music.
You may find some of my influences easy to spot and others not so easy, but I’ll try to explain here how these tracks came into existence and how they evolved over the period of time it took to make this album. So here we go!
I’m a sucker for old school riff based guitaring and this first song has its roots firmly planted in the Deep Purple/Led Zeppelin style. When I was a kid at school, a friend invited me hear a record he had bought that day.
I distinctly remember seeing the green and yellow HARVEST label as he placed it carefully on the turntable. The track he played me was ‘SPEED KING’ by Deep Purple and my life changed from that moment on. I blame you Mr Blackmore.
The lyrics are about all the thoughtless people who seem to have no sense of social boundaries and seem to love the sound of their own voices carping on vociferously about things they know very little about. Especially when I’m working. Grr!
Ok, maybe I just shot myself in the foot with that explanation. Maybe it’s about me after all?
Anyway, this track has me on vocals (have mercy on your souls).
2. THE LAST HORIZON
This track is an instrumental. I wanted to write something a little cinematic in feel about travelling very fast, because I generally don’t (I drive very slowly).
N.B. The first guitar solo is played using a screwdriver scraped along the strings.
I quite often have musical ideas come to me through the night and when they do I just have to get up and get the idea recorded there and then or it WILL be gone in the morning. This track is one of those. The subject, chorus, drumbeat and bass came first and I later hung the chords and verse melody on it. The lyrics are taken from the dream I was having at the time.
I had recorded a guide vocal myself with the view that it would be re-recorded later by someone who could actually sing, but people that heard it seemed to like my voice. I had been working with Robert Bruce (not that one) on his own solo album and asked him if he would like to give Ascension a go. It is his voice singing the higher part on the chorus.
I had also been working with a guy called Gerry Jablonski (local blues legend) who wanted to try putting vocals on it as well. I really loved what he did, as he took the track to a different place all together. That version will be released as a bonus track.
4. One Step On
This is another race song, but metaphorically about it’s about growing old.
I personally love the power and energy of the Foo Fighters, and this track is in homage to Mr Grohl and Co.
I tried to do the vocal on this, but my voice is too soft sounding, so I thought that Mr Gerry Jablonski would like to give it a go.
I’m so pleased and grateful that Gerry took the time out to do this for me and he really gave 100% to it. I also wanted to play slide guitar on this.
Now we’re getting into strange territory.
Although it might not sound like it, this is actually all played on guitar.
The guitar is actually playing the harp part and the vocal and cello are extrapolated from that part. This one was done in one take.
6. The Girl In the Attic
This track was written for a movie trailer, which at that time was called House of Shadow but may now be called Soul Reaper.
The film is going into production soon so I’ll keep you posted on developments.
It features the vocal talents of Melissa Allen who is a fantastic actress and singer. She is currently performing in the highly acclaimed stage show Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, and I’m so happy she took the time out of her busy schedule to do this for me
7. The Running Man
This is another instrumental track. The track has one of the hardest riffs I ever come up with (probably easy for most guitarists but hard for me).
I love the sound that Jeff Beck produces from his Strat and there’s a touch of Jeff in the end section.
The title comes from a running gag that Ronnie Brown and me have.
8. In This Broken World
This track was born in a moment of madness. I love movie music and James Bond themes fall into that category. I wanted to try and write a pseudo Bond theme and this is what I came up with.
This is the song that I really wanted Robert Bruce to sing and I love Robert’s voice on this.
You might not notice this but the track has a bottleneck guitar playing one chord all the way through. Weird or what?
9. Undiscovered Land
This is a very old track that I resurrected from the past, which was influenced by the film 2010.
Back in the day, I recorded many pieces like this just for fun. I always wanted to use this piece for something so I added an end section to it.
I know it’s not to everybody’s taste, but I love the raw sound of a Fender Stratocaster and I wanted to record that sound.
10. Left It Behind
This track has an unusual beginning. I found some vocal samples on the internet by a guy called Rob Meulman. I really like the sound of his voice and what he does so I built a song around his voice.
I contacted him in The Netherlands and asked him for permission to use his voice on one of my tracks and he was happy to grant it.
So here it is. I have no idea what it’s about
11. Vista 2
This track is another old instrumental that I wanted to revamp.
The end section reminds me of standing on a high vantage point watching a boiling sunset.
12. In The Depths
The 9 minute epic. I am a fan of Dave Gilmour and I wanted to write something in his style. Unusually there is no real guitar solo at any point in the piece.
The middle section was originally written for an oil industry corporate presentation about diving, hence the title.
I have had a lot of fun recording this album and all the instruments on it. I’m not a drummer or a keyboardist or bass player but there is a certain satisfaction in trying to do it all yourself, albeit by slaving over a computer screen for hours at a time punching notes in on a keyboard.
I have tried to describe to you where these tracks come from and where my influences lie.
I have the deepest respect for the people that have influenced me and I am fully aware that I can never come close to the abilities of those people, but I can always aspire to them.
Bonus Download Tracks
When you purchase the CD directly from us you will also get the album as a download which includes these bonus alternative versions:
13. Creep - Instrumental
14. Ascension - Jerry Jablonski Vocals
15. Ascension - Instrumental
16. One Step On - Instrumental
17. In This Broken World - Instrumental
18. Left It Behind - Instrumental