For Fans Of
Jim Ward really needs no introduction, founding member of one of the most influential seminal post hard-core band ever, At-The Drive In and the creative force behind Sparta. Of late Ward has been touring as a solo artist and has now released his debut solo record ‘Quiet in the Valley, On the Shores the End Begins‘. The album is a combination of his three solo EP’s, 2008’s ‘Quiet’ and two previously unreleased EP’s ‘In The Valley, On The Shore’ and ‘The End Begins.’
Ward’s solo works are vastly different to the full band releases we have known from him in the past, especially on the ‘Quiet’ section of the record. The usual higher pitched tones of his voice have been traded for a lower, Dylan-esque sound which is well matched to the folk feel of the acoustically driven songs, especially the opening track On My Way Back Home Again.
The songs from this EP keeps things fairly stripped back, only ever incorporating touches of piano occasionally, such as on Coastlines, which almost sounds it could be an Eskimo Joe track weirdly enough.
As we move onto the second section for the ‘In The Valley…’ The songwriter opens up a little more, building the energy and finding his “usual” voice again. The third EP ‘The End Begins’ is a combination of its predecessors but with a darker tone. Ward’s guitar lines, which become more intricate, show that he is constantly refining his writing talents.
If all of this isn’t enough the record comes with a bonus disc which features six electric versions of songs taken from the acoustic album. Whilst the electric versions are no where near as intense as the music heard from Ward’s other groups they are more in line with his Sparta work showing that the core song writing talents have remained the same.
Regardless of the group he is in, Jim Ward has always been a consistent artist. The collection of these three EPs shows a more personal side to Ward as a song writer whilst flexing the range of his abilities. Chances are that if you have been a fan of any of Ward’s previous works, you will enjoy, or at least appreciate, this record.
1. On My Way Back Home Again
2. Take It Back
3. Mystery Talks
5. Easier Said Than Done
6. All That We Lost
7. Broken Songs
8. My Town
9. The Newest One
10. This Love Has Gone Away
11. Lake Travis
12. Waves In Spanish
14. The Beginning Of The End
1. Take It Back (Electric Version)
2. Mystery Talks (Electric Version)
3. Coastlines (Electric Version)
4. Broken Songs (Electric Version)
5. My Town (Electric Version)
6. Decades (Electric Version)