26 September 2023

Habitual Line Stepper

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Gareth Leach, RTC Records 2022.

Aussie country rocker Gareth Leach has turned the loud knob to 11 for his new single, the third so far from his latest, yet to be released, album.

Habitual Line Stepper makes no pretence at being a country song, it is purely rock and roll, and heavy rock at that.

According to the blurb that came with the single the album, his third, is ‘very eclectic’ and Gareth has certainly pushed the boundaries on this single.

Most of his songs fall into the country rock genre but this one really blurs the line between country and rock.

It’s really a blend of outlaw/country played loud mixed with tinges of thrash metal.

As readers of this column will know I’ve often commented that country musicians have been adopting rock and integrating it into their song writing kitbag so there shouldn’t be any surprise when someone releases a hard rock track.

In fact, if you want to listen to traditional rock these days you hear more of it on the country radio stations than the mainstream ones.

Habitual Line Stepper was written and produced by Leach who played most of the instruments; drums, bass, guitars, banjo and vocal but he enlisted the help of Hamish Davidson on dobro and Jy-Perry Banks on pedal-steel guitar.

The track is so hard driving and rocky that it’s hard to hear the dobro and pedal-steel over the pounding rhythm once the intro is over.

I like the track and have given it many listens.

Gareth has released three songs from the up-coming album so far and each of them has been good, so it’d be worthwhile keeping an eye out for it.

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