Whilst many rock stars of yesteryear are happy to ride the reunion bandwagon or live of former glories, some are pushing themselves to great new music. Although a man who embraces his past, as From The Jam proves, he is also keen on adding to his legacy and ensure that he is as music relevant as ever, in an era that craves nostalgia.
Foxton has also called on the skills of some of his famous friends to add some extra shine on a very polished album. Fellow Jammer Paul Weller joins him as does the indestructible Wilko Johnson and Paul Jones. Not a bad trio of faces to called upon, however it’s Foxton and From The Jam guitarist/vocalist Russell Hastings that rightly take the plaudits in a partnership that is proving to be every bit as fruitful as Foxton/Weller.
Being a key part of two classic and iconic bands sits well with Foxton but he’s never been a man to rest on his laurels or past glory. Smash The Clock contains some of his finest creations. “Round and Round” is a smooth groove-laden funk led by Foxton’s signature bass licks.
“Pictures & Diamonds” slows things down to a leisurely but intense musical journey and the same could be said for catchy and straightforward “Louder” which proves the old adage that less is more.
The tempo picks up and the feeling gets shaken loose on “Sunday Morning” and the title track “Smash The Clock” is arguably the best thing on the album. The best track The Jam never recorded, perhaps. It certainly evokes joyful memories of the early 1980’s with a short saxophone solo to enhance the rhythmic riffing. Speaking of great tracks “Back Street, Dead Street” deserves an honourable mention with its classic funky rocking vibe a triumph for the ears.
In recent interviews Foxton has acclaimed the benefits of PledgeMusic which has allowed him to record this album. It’s certainly been key in allowing bands/artists to continue to record new music to a willing audience without the drama and frustration of record label input. Bands taking matters into their own hands is the way forward in this “something for nothing” culture. Hard work and determination still play a vital role though if a band or artist is to succeed. Those words are written under the skin of Foxton. Been there and still doing it.
The clock may be smashed but it’s still ticking louder than ever. Tick-Tock.
Donnie’s Rating: 8/10