Did you hear the one about a guitarist, a drummer, and a keyboard player? Or the one about a bass player, a singer, and a songwriter? Well, all roads lead to one person, Ian Danter, whose latest offering of expertly crafted rock will enhance this summer’s soundtrack nicely.
Ian Danter – Rule Of Three (Cherry Red)
Release Date: 8 July 2022
Words: Liz Medhurst
It’s seven years since the previous opus Second Time Around, but we can let Dants off that. He’s kind of busy. A regular voice of talkSPORT, he’s been enhancing football and darts tournaments by bringing proceedings to life with fantastic, detailed analysis. Plus, he makes regular appearances from the subs bench for Planet Rock, covering many premium slots.
Yep, a definite all-rounder, but as he’s damn good at everything, never merely satisfactory, we are creeping into polymath territory here. It’s only to be expected then that Rule of Three is broadened out from the commonplace subject matter of merely wine, women and song, or sex, drugs and rock and roll – you can also find environmentalism, political commentary, and thoughtful reflection in the eleven tracks.
The origin of the songs range from way back in the ’90s to the present day, and there’s nothing dated here, it’s all smartened up and fresh with a wonderfully organic soundscape. Ian’s long-time friend and former Shotgun Wedding bandmate Gray Ettrick has co-written several tracks, and his accomplished lead guitar work is pretty good too.
Ettrick isn’t the only additional presence here. Even though Danter can play everything and is a dab hand behind the production desk, too, he’s not one for hogging every bit of the limelight, and there are a lot of guest appearances and joint working that highlight the songs beautifully.
There’s an appearance from Sam Woods (Wayward Sons), who belts out a cracking solo on Pick A Side, described in the sleeve notes as Bruce Kulick-esque, which is hard to argue with. This driving, high-paced number is a riff-heavy delight.
Massive Passive Aggressive, a song which has the best run of continuous rhyming since Supertramp’s Logical Song, is another that bolts along at a rapid stride and features Glenn Quinn (Myke Gray, Leather and Lace) with a suitably edgy solo.
It is a fast-paced album overall. There are not many slow numbers. The biggest change of pace comes with Landscapes, a luxuriant track with some beautiful phrasing, conjuring up hot summer nights, with another illustrious guest star in Chris Buck from Buck & Evans.
There are grooves aplenty and elements of glam, classic rock and melodic rock, with a touch of prog too – have a listen to the keyboard solo in Generation Z (gratifyingly zed, not zee) with zeitgeist capturing and probably prophetic lyrics. It’s bound to put a smile on your face.
The album is immaculately produced – clean and devoid of fuss with enough oomph and sharp edges to keep it interesting right the way through – it’s been worth the wait.
Let’s have a shout-out to the artwork too, a brilliant illustration from Shaun Davies depicting Ian in the centre of a celebrity squares grid surrounded by influential peers. Another nice touch is the extensive sleeve notes with the CD, giving the background of the songs and glimpses of the recording and production.
All in all a highly recommended album. Nice one, Dants – the blood, sweat and tears involved have given a result that is all good with nothing bad or ugly.