This is a review of "News Of Home" recorded by The Tonic. The review was written by Richard Garnett in 2004.
Somewhere there is a local pub that thinks The Tonic are the effing business and musically there is no denying it. Sounding like a wedding covers band turning their hand to original material, overdosed with all the same clichés they have been so immaculately polishing all these years. When you can play Alana Miles "Black Velvet" with your eyes closed, do Eric Clapton solos in your sleep and go from country to AOR in four bars it's only inevitable that when you come to pen songs yourself there's whole lot of it in there!
Now if you think this review is pulling into Slating Road - think again. Granted this would have any average cred-driven kid climbing the wall, but it is placed on your table in a 6 course cordon bleu fashion, right down to the coffee and mints. It's a shame that most people stopped dining in this restaurant a long time ago and the clientèle attire of denim shirts with the cuffs turned back, hair that's slightly too long for your age and brilliant white trainers is not what's hot on the high street. But all this aside, these six songs from The Tonic all share the same sweet production, strong vocals, clinical playing and classic structures. Best moments are the lilting and melting country melodies on opener "Fast Enough" and the more interesting guitar work on "One Last Time”.
Whether their mission is one of stardom or regular bookings in the pub/club network of suburbia is unclear. It's for certain that MOR country driven rock is more easily pitched to the latter.