Mott The Hoople and Ian Hunter

Steve Hyams CD: "Feather And A Tomahawk"

Sleeve and track listing

Angel Air SJPCD039. (2.5 stars!)

  1. Treat Yourself Right
  2. Bethlehem Steel
  3. Feather And A Tomahawk
  4. Chasin' Money
  5. Eldorado
  6. Never Judge A Man (Until You're Standing In His Shoes)
  7. In The Morning
  8. One For The Bride
  9. The Hard Way
  10. Blue Guitar
  11. Lying In The Dark
  12. Do It Again
  13. Cold Cold Comfort
  14. Dig


Steve Hyams. A name unfamiliar to most people, except to die-hard fans of that seminal British rock band Mott The Hoople. Although Steve was merely a friend of that band, he did record some demos with them in 1977 (when they were morphing from Mott into British Lions), and also found time to record a solo album (Mistaken Identities, also available on Angel Air) before his career nose-dived into an ultimately destructive substance-induced haze.

This was a shame because Steve has a great voice as this album, his first since, er, cleaning up, amply shows. Forget the balls-out rock of Mott - Steve is coming from a softer, more melodic direction of the rock spectrum. Many of the songs are autobiographical in nature, with several of the songs telling of the sheer unremitting hell that addiction leads to. Songs like The Hardway (When you look in the mirror/Do you like what you see/When you see your reflection/Do you want to be free) and the title track (Won't somebody help me/Won't somebody care/Won't somebody listen/Won't somebody hear).

Often reflective and introspective but eminently listenable, the standout tracks for me are Bethlehem Steel, Eldorado, Never Judge A Man and Blue Guitar. Steve has used the same band throughout the album, and as a result the songs, playing and production are consistent throughout, Steve being ably assisted by none other than Ray Majors on guitar - so there is a Mott connection after all.

The CD is packaged with a booklet containing musician credits and full lyrics.