The legendary guitarist and Kinks co-founder once again teams up with his son on this sentimental and carefully crafted album
Dave Davies previously teamed up with son Russ under the moniker of The Aschere Project for their cinematic 2010 album Two Worlds. Though Open Road is another collaboration between the pair, the electronic instincts of the younger Davies have been curbed to focus more on classic songwriting and it’s an approach that lets the album’s sentimental side shine.
That’s not to say it’s sickly with nostalgia. The gentle opener Path Is Long may recall “Worn out shoes, playing the blues on my harmony guitar / With rusty strings, blisters on my fingers, playing in that old school yard.” But by the time the softly psychedelic Chemtrails closes the album, the duo are looking forward with uncertainty as they declare “Here we stand looking to the future there must be a better plan / We must save our wrath and together build a future, braver world.”
There’s plenty else to enjoy in between, including the spacy guitar sound and warped vocals of the title track and the classic Kinks of Don’t Wanna Grow Up, “las” included. Though his playing is a subtle undercurrent running through the record, allowing space for the songs, the overdrive heavy King Of Diamonds shows that Davies senior has lost none of his gusto. The duo of Forgiveness and Sleep On It suggest that Dave and Russ really wanted to strip things back this time round and, as it turns out, it was an excellent decision.
Verdict: A revealing and rewarding listen