The words “if it wasn’t for Grunge they would have been massive” could apply to bucket loads of artists whose fortunes suffered as a result of the genre that shook mainstream Rock in the 90’s.
Toby Jepson – Viewfinder (Jepsongs Recordings)
Release Date: 13 March 2021
Words: Brian Boyle
And it certainly did not help the cause of Scarborough’s Little Angels whose slick brand of Classic Rock looked for a while suited and booted for a successful stay at the top with Rock ‘N’ Roll’s elite.
But thankfully the disbandment of Little Angels did not spell the same for their talismanic frontman Toby Jepson.
Since 1995 he has kept his creative juices cascading with solo work, fronting Gun, “Fast” Eddie Clarke’s Fastway and Dio Disciples, plus adding more strings to his bow with some bit part acting and taking on a new role behind the recording console as a producer.
These days he is making his presence felt by leading the brilliant Wayward Sons, who have wowed the critics with their first two stupendous albums.
‘Viewfinder’ is a retrospective compilation of Jepson’s solo endeavours from 2002 to 2013.
With sixteen tracks, plus four bonus and previously unreleased tunes, there is a lot to get through, especially if you are a complete novice to his solo adventures.
But this is a body of work that deserves your time and undivided attention.
Opener ‘Better Off Dead’ swiftly shows off his varied penmanship with powerhouse rhythms and a proper hairdryer chorus.
The dangerously infectious ‘Unwind’ gives a masterclass in how to do proper angsty Pop Rock, even if your not a spiky haired ball of anarchy. Gritty moments like the title track, ‘Raising My Own Hell’ and the blissful sombreness of ‘Twisted Rhapsody’ shows Jepson is more than comfortable to step outside his regular role of anthemic Rock.
But what is always a banker, is his knack for creating sumptuous melodies, like on the warming ‘Weight Of The World’ and the touching ballad ‘Just No Way To Stop From Loving You’.
Tucked in at the back of the album are the four previously vaulted bonus tracks including a gigantic tune called ‘Overwhelming Me’ which will leave you scratching your head as to why it has never seen the light of day.
‘Viewfinder’ is a must have collection of eclectic songs from the pen of one of British Rock’s most underrated and compulsive songwriters.
1. Better off dead
2. Back in the day
4. Dear Mama
5. When will we learn
8. Happy ever after
10. Raising my own hell
11. Four letter word
12. Twisted Rhapsody
13. Crush (original version)
14. Weight of the world
15. The Chosen one
16. Just no way to stop from loving you
1. Little Bird
2. Overwhelming me
3. Losing side
4. Picking Up The Pieces