It has been a very good few weeks and this album is one reason. I had never heard of Jerry Castle and I wonder why not. He has been around for years, first as a member of Toast (never heard of them either) and after as a solo artist. He has three albums to his credit before this one and I cannot believe after hearing Not So Soft Landing that they made no impact. The guy not only knows how to write a solid mainstream song, he has the goods to put them down in their best light.
Mainstream rock seems to be the lost genre these days, partially because everyone maybe is searching for that gimmick or focal point which will make people listen. Damn hard since the gutting of the music industry (self-imposed, by the way). There are just too many artists. You can't see the forest for the trees. They say. Whoever they are. Truth is, a good song is a good song and you don't really need to be plugged into a TV ad or a movie to find it. It helps, but you don't need it. All you need do is try to find what tickles your fancy. Most people are not. Trying, that is. Most are happy with what they have, evidently, even if new music is standing right next to it and is as good. Does good music need a history? Do Artists? Myself, I am tired of people giving albums the thumbs up before they are even released just because the wrinkled old prunes were at one time at the top of their game. Not when musicians like Castle and Josh Farrow and Dead Horses are being pushed to the side so that certain Artists Who Shall Remain Nameless still ride the gravy train. F**k the past. They had their days.
And if music counts for anything, Castle will have his now too. First time through, I knew there was something special here. First track, “Ride,” was impressive. Track two, “She Kills,” the same. In fact, I am now eight tracks in and am thinking if this was the eighties or the seventies all over again, this album would be climbing the charts like gangbusters, bullets flying everywhere. This is certainly not country but I cannot believe that country fans would not be all over it. Rock and Pop, the same. Hell, these songs are good enough to transcend all genres--- okay, there might be a few so deeply embedded into, say, EMO or rap who might not get this, but if you like good old mainstream rock.....
There is a bit of Neil Diamond in his voice and even in some of his songs but that is just coincidence. He merely happens to live in the same territory (or on the fringe of it) and knows his way around a hit song. That's right. I said 'hit.' If AM radio still existed, more than a few of the songs would have a good chance of being singles and, yes, they are good enough to be hits.
What would it take for me to get you to listen? Kit Kat bar? Promissory note? How about the odd chance that you might find some music that maybe is as good as the music you say no longer exists? Okay. Here's your chance. Two songs. Maybe nine minutes. Take a listen.
Both from Not So Soft Landing. The other eight are in the same ballpark, too. I tell you, this guy not only knows his way around a song, he really knows his way around a song. Some people know it or his videos would have a lot fewer views. I think it's time others know it too.