The perverse irony of the Californian pop-rock scene of the 1970s lies in its internal contradiction: on the one hand, there was the sentimental and philosophical rhetoric; on the other, the drug-induced egotistical psychotic behaviour of its protagonists. You’re singing about peace, love and forgiveness, while at the same time snorting lines of coke, waving guns at your bandmates and shagging everything with a pulse. Go figure.
Pink & White Bridge’s music takes you back to one side of that paradoxical equation – the good side, that is. ‘Bring Our Love Home’is the harmony-laden soundtrack to the moments of love that fill a thousand great songs;‘With A Song’skips up a beat, and embarks on a ride through the Mojave Desert with Crosby, Stills and Nash. ‘Watch Me Plead’leans over the piano and bangs out a heartfelt lament for a bond destroyed by human foibles;‘Run For Cover’has got a bit of Neil Young grunt and guts to get through the tough times – maybe with a whisky chaser for good measure; and‘Home Again’whisks you through the door to find Jackson Browne singing some beautiful music.
If Donald Horne had copyrighted the phrase ‘The Lucky Country’, he’d have made a million; if he’d written the track of the same name on this album, he’d be a happy man. ‘Always Complaining’could be John Lennon in a moment of personal reflection when all the bitterness had drained from his body, and‘Who’ll Stop Me Now’strikes a pose and swaggers like Cold Chisel at the Largs Pier Hotel in 1975.
There’s a lot to see and hear on this record, and it’s all good.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Home & Hosed is out now through MGM.