Album, Single and EP Reviews



  An Exception to the Rule by Gary Binks

An Exception to the Rule cover art

Artist: Gary Binks
Title: An Exception to the Rule
Catalogue Number: Kerbstone Records
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2008

Singer songwriters have so much freedom of expression. With that in mind, it seems strange that I am so frequently depressed by homogenous chancers who write a song about an ex-girlfriend and call themselves musicians (for a while). Thankfully, Gary Binks isn't like that. "An Exception to the Rule" is delightful in its intricacies and its quirks. 

"Emiline" is the first showing of Binks's charisma. The trumpets and keyboard that back Binks's simple vocals make it an enjoyable pop song. Deft finger-picking on "Smile like Che Guevara" again aids the voice and sounds nothing like the preceding songs. Binks manages to offer variety while establishing each song as his own.

Swinging pop on "Remove My Thorns"; sweet acoustic pop on "Jayseeker"; and a jaunty pop-rock offering in "Halo in a Hackney Cab" - there's no denying the overall direction of the album and clearly Binks knows how to exploit every facet of the pop world. "Girl From the West Country" tiptoes in murkier waters, but still boasts the pop sheen that your ears will by now be most accustomed to.

Binks is at times smothered by the weight of backing musicians, who take his would be ordinary song and add colour and verve, so there's no way that Binks can take all the credit in that respect. However, Binks paints some humorous pictures with his lyrics and is due much credit in that respect.

If you're looking to hear a singer-songwriter that strays outside the box then do what's right and get yourself a copy of this CD!
Review Date: September 4 2008