CD Review: Safe Haven “Sermon for No One”

Chicago-based Safe Haven started when lead guitarist Patrick Lyons got together with drummer Tony Tabor. And while the two musicians created yet another drum and guitar duo to add to the number of musical duos that have formed since the success of The Black Keys, Safe Haven is so much more as they draw upon the talents of other musicians to help flesh out their sound. When other two-member bands have a hollow sound to their music because of the lack of other musicians, Safe Haven is a musical outfit that has plenty of body to their music.

With the band of Safe Haven having only a guitarist and a drummer, that also helps to free the duo from being pigeonholed into one sound or style of music. The resulting music from Patrick Lyons, Tony Tabor and the rest of the musicians who help to bring their music to life is varied and lively and has plenty of variety from one song to another. In fact, that variety is what makes the new release, Sermon for No One, from Safe Haven that strong.

The Sermon for No One release from Safe Haven begins with the track “So Long (The Hercamo Flash Story)”. The track features a mixture of both hard rock and blues. The mixture creates a very strong song that goes well with the lyrics of a man who is always on the move going on down the road. The simple lyrics in the refrain ensure that you can sing along with the track if you have the mind to. The song starts the album off on a very strong groove.

With the second track, Safe Haven changes the direction of the album. While “So Long (The Hercamo Flash Story)” features a blues/hard rock feel to the music, the song “I Steal” has a slightly different feel. The music to the track will immediately remind many people of the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Allman Brothers. The Southern Rock feel to the track shows that Safe Haven creates music that will satisfy fans of Classic Rock music.

While both “So Long (The Hercamo Flash Story)” and “I Steal” have a very strong rock ‘n’ roll feel, the album takes a slightly different direction with the third track of the release: The third track of “Colorado Moon” takes the music into more of a folk-rock frame of mind. With the usual instruments of guitar, bass and drums, the piano, fiddle and steel guitar on the track all come together to create a track that is part country-flavored and part folk-rock. “Colorado Moon” is one of the best folk-rock tracks to have been written in a long time.

With the track “Leave Me Where I Want to Be,” the music takes on a jazzy flavor. The resulting track has a sound that brings to mind the jazz music found in the French Quarter in New Orleans while still having a little rock flavor to it. Ultimately, the track will remind you of the type of music that has long been produced by singer-songwriter Dr. John.

Safe Haven abandons the practice of combining genres of music for the track “Suburban Weekend”. The straight-out rock song has a strong groove to it and is perhaps the strongest song on the album. The lyrics about having fun all weekend long seem to have been influenced by the weak economy and the fact that only a certain segment of the population can actually enjoy the type of fun described in the song. While describing a situation that fewer and fewer can enjoy, the song does seem to have a slight sense of humor when it comes to the lyrics.

The track “Never Change” once again sends the music in a different direction. The drumbeat and the inclusion of the steel guitar on the track give it a slight country flavor that is very reminiscent of songs that were written by bands like The Eagles or Wilco.

While most of the Sermon for No One album from Safe Haven contains songs written by the band, the album does include two cover tracks: “Going to Germany” and “What are They Doing in Heaven today?” While the two tracks have different feelings to the music on the tracks, both tracks are performed with minimal instrumentation. Safe Haven truly brings out the spirit of the folk tradition that is found in both “Going to Germany” and “What are They Doing in Heaven today?”

Throughout the nine tracks that make up Sermon for No One, Safe Haven’s Patrick Lyons and Tony Tabor have created an album that has a strong rock and roll side while also having a more adventurous side with the different genres of music that help make up the tracks. The duo and the rest of the musicians that helped to create the music on the release have made an album that always stays fresh.

Click HERE for the video to Leave Me Where I Want to Be.

Click HERE for the band's PR firm Novo Management and Publicity.

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