The Axiom Of Truth
June 1997

Well, most of you will at least be familiar with the name of Geoff Mann. This is an album of the band The Bond that he formed before Eh! Geoff Mann Band. In addition to the album Prints of Peace, a number of demo tracks have been included (the last four tracks) which are generally called the Pullman Demos. They are also present on Won By One in a different recording. Too Modern is a demo track with Andy Mason. A number of tracks can also be found on Mannerisms recorded by different bands.

The music
Also on this album we have that wobbly sound that is so typical for Geoff Mann work after Twelfth Night. Contrary to the later Eh!/A Geoff Mann Band the music on this album is more relaxed and contains mostly singer/songwriter material, although both albums contain rather religious lyrics.
A song like Gateway into Heaven is a rather quiet song with programmed percussion (unfortunately) with wobbly guitars and synths and focus on melody and a straightforward song format. I do like the next one, Sob Stories, better, because the synths are more prominent and the melody is better. It is garnished with spanish guitar.

The percussive beginning of High Ground sounds a little too cold for me. A little later it is accompanied by keyboards and piano. Geoff criticizes society quite a lot in this song and contrasts it with the way how Christ lived and was treated. Good thing about the song is that vocally, Geoff shows the back of this tongue here.

One of the more appealing tracks on the album is Seriously Siblings with an important role for the bass guitar and repetitive keyboards. The song also enjoys nice vocal melodies and I especially like the Seriously Siblings part. The song is also quite varied with three different vocal melodies and in the middle the first real guitar solo and later towards the end the beginnings of a keyboard solo (beginnings because the guitar involves itself). Again a shame that the drums are programmed.

Don't Wait is a mid-tempo acoustic track with organ accompaniment. It is a track with nice percussion and non-standard rhythms.

After the ballad Stranded we come to the melodic, atmospheric ballad Looking for Love.

The actual album closes down with the peaceful starting Table Talk. A repetitive guitar is combined with spaceous syths.

The first bonus track Too Modern has quite an exciting intro and is the only track in the album that has real live drumming. The characteristic guitar sound is there, but there's quite a lot of electric guitar as well and the song is quite heavy. A powerful track, although the vocal melodies of the verses are little standard. The chorus is very nice though, especially when a little keyboards is added later on. His Love is a rather uneventful ballad, while After the Storm contains a lot of bass. It is a sultry bluesy song, with organ and vocal eruptions. This same "under the skin" sound is also present on the more subdued Certainly. The last song Willy Welsh is rather different. It is a more melodic song and celebrates the return of the wobbly guitar. The song is rather uplifting, but also very reptitive and can be compared to later work on Second Chants, but also contains symphonic echoes of Twelfth Night.

A singer/songwriter album with unfortunately programmed percussion, but nice melodies, quite a lot of keyboards (in case you wondered) and vocally intense renditions. The lyrics are religious for the most part, so you should be able to stand that. The music is not like Twelfth Night, but it does contain the trade-marks of Geoff Mann's solo work (as also present later on Second Chants, although this album is more experimental). Personally I like Sob Stories, Seriously Siblings, Too Modern, After the Storm and Certainly best.

Reviewed byJurriaan Hage

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