The band is on the road with their Now’s The Time tour celebrating their 25th Anniversary while promoting their new release Blood. Frontman and keyboards/guitarist Ed Roland is joined by brother Dean on guitars, bassist Will Turpin, lead guitarist Jesse Triplett, and drummer Johnny Rabb. The album cover depicts what I determine to be referring to as new blood.

Now’s The Time is a nice heavier song relying on the solid guitar riffs. Over Me is also led by the guitar playing. Right As Rain is a great medium tempo song with some nice slide guitar work. Them Blues is a nice bouncy piano based tune with some nice backing vocal arrangements. Good Place To Start relays Ed’s thoughts on life and how to cope. Observation Of Thoughts has an anthem type quality with some nice piano and guitar work. Changed is a self-confessional piano ballad nicely accented by strings. Big Sky is another nice slowed down piece. Porch Swing is an acoustic guitar and organ led offering.

The mixing, arrangements, and background vocal use are maximized here. The most noticeable thing is that a great portion of the songs are mainly first structured around Ed’s lyrics and then Will and Dean’s guitar work. Ed’s strong vocals play well over the top of everything. The rythym section of Johnny and Will “Gel” (pardon the pun) nicely together to balance out the sound. The group best known for their earlier hits Shine, Gel, December, The World I Know, Precious Declaration, and Heavy delivers some familiar sounding as well as a lot of fresh sounding material. When you listen to CS you hear a lot of nuances that became influences, adopted by bands that followed them.

Catch them when they play your area. I’ve seen them do most of the new songs live, and together with their back catalogue, it’s a lot of fun.

By R.M. Engelman