When the original guitarist for the Rough Seven Michael Aaron passed away recently the band looked internally for solace. Aaron had not been in the band for some time but was vital in its construction and was still tight with the present day group. In tribute the band went back to an early session that Aaron played on and liked what they heard, giving them new remixes via Dr. Fred. Combining those tracks with various recent recordings the band now present Codebreaker
While not a proper follow up to 2010’s stunningly great Give Up Your Dreams it is a powerful record in its own right. The seven tracks from the revisited sessions have a down home feel with the country confessional “Perfect Tree” and a reworked version of the groups own “St. Anthony” being highlights. The excellent covers of Ween’s “Birthday Boy” and Bob Marley’s “Do It Twice” show off the emotive singing of leadman Ryan Scully as both tracks touch a deep nerve thanks to a vocal performance that is vulnerable, passionate and honest.
The bands newer recordings work with acoustic and electric guitars flourishing behind the duet singing from Scully and Meschiya Lake on “New Kind Of Love”. The simple longing/love song “Freckle” and the fun country-tinged ramble of “‘Bove the Clouds” are both instantly identifiable while “Everything But A Broken Heart” is smirkingly groovy with a funky guitar, rolling piano, bass and drums.
Closing with an odd take on the Etta James classic “Rather Go Blind” the band proves it still has unique things to offer but will not forget the past, the essence of Codebreaker as a whole.