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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Daniel Kirkpatrick and the Bayonets go old-school on debut release “Alibis”

    Daniel Kirkpatrick and the Bayonets go old-school on debut release Alibis

    When budding musicians are quickly compared to rock icons of yesteryear, they’re suddenly left with big shoes to fill and some serious expectations to meet.

    Daniel Kirkpatrick and The Bayonets, a Seattle power trio fronted by an acoustic troubadour and guitar slinger, have drawn comparisons from Bruce Springsteen to Eric Clapton with their debut Alibis, but ultimately sounds confused between ‘90s alternative and the rock ‘n’ roll greats.

    However, Kirkpatrick understands the importance of hearkening back to a better day by letting his Tom Petty influence show with big, jangling guitar tone that can only be achieved by a Rickenbacker hollow body electric guitar and a clean British amp with tone to spare.

    Kirkpatrick’s lead work is just as important to the band’s sound as he does display a Clapton-esque restraint in his flourishes, choosing to accentuate rather than overpower with unnecessary soloing.

    Album opener “Someday” employs both guitar sensibilities, while its follow-up “Don’t Leave Me Waiting” is a slab of ‘90s pop-rock that sounds far more like a slowed-down Goo Goo Dolls than Kirkpatrick could be expected to play.

    The same goes for “I Knew You Then,” which uses a strikingly similar chord progression to Goo Goo Dolls’ “You Never Know,” if only Kirkpatrick put an alt-country spin on the same song or rewrote it on Klonopin and horse tranquilizers.

    While there’s been a lot of head nods in the way of ‘70s rock gods, Kirkpatrick does attempt to bring a lot of themes together on Alibis and the result often feels scattered from song to song. A record like The Wallflowers’ Bringing Down The Horse would be a shining example of a variety of pop constructions expertly brought together on the same album, but it feels trite elsewhere — unless you’re Bob Dylan’s son, that is.

    Such is the shift from “Alibis,” a song that’s written in a watered down Los Lonely Boys style without the ripping lead work, to the halftime jam of “Emerald Blues.” While it’s a strong song in its own right, and Kirkpatrick’s deft Stratocaster handiwork does nothing but amplify the shadowing Southern blues vibe of the song, “Emerald Blues” is yet another flavor on Alibis that would have been better on an album with similar tracks, giving some shine time to a genre that’s moved away from dusky clubs and soaring solos to songs of the garage rock variety.

    And that’s the underlying issue with Kirkpatrick: He doesn’t quite know where he stands. Kirkpatrick is a case of a singer-songwriter with an affinity for lead guitar work and a slight inability to blend the two together. Within a couple albums, his preference should show, but on Alibis, there’s so many sounds crammed into the record that it comes across as more jarring than natural.

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