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'Tracks From The Dustshelf'
(Avenue Of Alleys Music)

Phil Kane

phil kane

gts tracks from the dustshelf

GTS, Greg Hart - 6 and 12 string guitars and vocals, Toby Sadler - programming, bass, piano vocals and all keyboards and Sam Blue - lead and backing vocals, was a bit of a minor league super group back in the nineties. The collective CV of the three participants involved in this studio project chronicles stints with Moritz, Airrrace, If Only, Laurence Archer, Emmerson and Paul Sampson's Empire.

This is a re-issue of an album that originally saw the light of day in 1995. A dose of British AOR that FM and others peddled relentlessly.

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At the time it divided opinion but there was a general consensus that the production was a bit light and thin. 'Tracks From The Dustshelf' remains no classic with song writing that is too mundane and even with this make over it sounds dated and a bit twee. The songs themselves are basically leftovers from the trios various other projects, hence the album title, and you can tell.

The original criticism of the albums song quality still hangs true, though to be fair it is not that bad and it does boast a killer track in opener 'Endless' but even that is let down by a lacklustre original production job that no amount of re-mastering will rectify. The rest of the album is just too generic with few, if any, moments that threaten to spark proceedings into life.

When 'Tracks From The Dustshelf' is on it is good. The performances are arresting enough to hold your attention but only if you are doing something else. Once it has finished you will soon forget it was ever there at all.

Of course, with copies of this album going for $50 then even if it is just a cult release I'm sure it has done a lot of fans of the gentre a favour. However, this rerelease has no bonus tracks that I can tell and I'm not even sure that it has had a sonic make over at all.

I like this album, and if you are a fan of AOR then you are probably already aware of 'Tracks From The Dustshelf' and its successor, 'Time Stands Still' (which has also been re-issued). Unfortunately my copy of 'Tracks...' went west years ago so I have nothing to compare this reissue with but the sound is crisp and despite a lingering need for more oomph it sounds pretty good when cranked up to neighbour baiting levels; unfortunately the album proved insipid enough for the buggers to like it too.




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