Daniel Kirkpatrick and the Bayonets’ debut album Alibis sounds like an updated version of Elvis Costello’s glory days. Similar guitar strums, kicking drums, and funky organ grooves make each track a bluesy rock tune with an old-school vibe.
Daniel Kirkpatrick is the lead vocalist and guitarist. Drummer Spencer Booth and bassist Jordan Cassidy, who both worked with Kirkpatrick in the past, flank him in this project, making The Bayonets.
Kirkpatrick is clearly influenced by some rock n’ roll greats, such as Eric Clapton and Elvis Costello. The powerful melodies and Kirkpatrick’s gentle, yet masculine, voice give Alibis exactly that type of old-school rock feel.
The similarities between The Bayonets and Elvis Costello’s work is, at times, uncanny.
The use of organs, electric guitar, and Kirkpatrick’s voice is most similar to Costello on “Cynthia.” It’s also one of the more soulful, R&B-like tracks because of the backup vocals, hand clap rhythm, and the initial lyrics.
Kirkpatrick sings, “I’ve been stepping on the lines/Wasting my precious time/I’ve been looking everywhere/But I’ve had no luck/Pretty things get so pricey/But just the ones after me/I need to find a lonesome soul with/Some luck,” which leads into singing about Cynthia, whoever that may be. As the chorus comes in, the rhythm transitions into rock territory before switching back to the funky, R&B style. The track is perhaps too similar to Costello’s “Alison,” making it feel unoriginal.
The seventh track, “It’s You,” starts with a xylophone that evokes Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run.” It’s hardly a carbon copy of the Springsteen track, but again, Daniel Kirkpatrick and the Bayonets is recreating this bluesy rock and roll for a younger audience.
“All I Can Take” is another track where those influences are most clearly heard. Kirkpatrick sounds like he is trying to be Elvis Costello.
The band does have some flair of its own; the danceable beat that comes in at the chorus and the incorporation of an organ lead the track onto a refreshing, modern path, but it doesn’t quite make the band’s sound unique.
Daniel Kirkpatrick and the Bayonets has some clearly soulful, blues-inspired moments, as well. On “Emerald Blues,” the twangy electric guitar and slinky rhythm have a bone-chilling coolness, complete with a guitar solo halfway through.
The organ is incorporated as well for an extra edge to the sound as Kirkpatrick sings, “I keep begging and begging/Let it happen, let it happen/This is killing me/Emerald blues.”
Kirkpartick has addressed his desire to utilize his songwriting as a means for opening up. This honesty is noticeable throughout the album, in part because of how he sings with heartfelt force, but mostly because of the lyrical content itself. The sentimental “I Knew You Then” and the poppy “Someday” are clearly a part of Kirkpatrick’s openness. “Everyday I’d see the sun was shining/You’re still under my skin” from “I Knew You Then” is one of the album’s most gripping lyrical lines, about a sort of long lost love.
Daniel Kirkpatrick and the Bayonets revamps classic rock with Alibis. While the album is a debut, the music sounds mature. Its sound and lyrics are a refreshing rendition of an old school sound, but the band could do more to distinguish itself from its old-school counterparts.
Daniel Kirkpatrick and the Bayonets – Alibis tracklist:
- “All I Can Take”
- “Don’t Leave Me Waiting”
- “Emerald Blues”
- “I Knew You Then”
- “It’s You”
- “This Way”
- “Until I Break”