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DAVE McPHERSON The Hardship Diaries Graphite Records (2011)

Dave McPherson

The debut solo album from heavy alt hard rock band InMe vocalist/guitarist, and main man, Dave McPherson tones things down but continues to ooze emotion and 'feel'.

While InMe are a band guaranteed to shift even the most stubborn earwax, The Hardship Diaries is pretty much a one man acoustic set of heartfelt and heartbreaking songs dedicated to the memory of McPherson's late grandfather.

Expanding on the melodious restraint only occasionally exercised by InMe, it's a very accessible set dived into four 'seasonal' movements. And while solo albums are all too often a watered down version of a parent band's ouput, in this case less is very definitely more.

With a vocal style not dissimilar to that of Marillion's Steve Hogarth, the stripped back approach of The Hardship Diaries exposes the depth of McPherson's song writing abilities. Upfront and personal, it's an excellent piece of work that retains all the intensity of InMe but is altogether more accessible.

It's an approach that works really well - the intensity is still there, and the songs are still raw, but they won't make your ears bleed. It will be interesting to see how InMe fans react, but if they've any sense they'll welcome The Hardship Diaries with open arms.


Review by Pete Whalley


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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