The Rhyme - The Reverb Years 1985 - 1987   Contemporary Rock so timeless and fresh it sounds just as good today as it did the day it was recorded. 

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In Your Eyes
 Pockets Empty
 The New You
 Who Locks The Door?
 The Monte Carlo Game
 The Enemy
 Ivy Times
 In A Fallen World
 Man Of Justice

Recorded by Tom Nali on 4-track - 1/4” analog tape.

Tom Nali - Guitars, Keyboards, Bass, Drums, Vocals, Flute, Sitar.

Craig Smith - Vocals.

Rick Mattelig - Drums, Vocals.

Dave Hedden - Guitar.

Brian Torkilson - Bass.

*Brad Anderson - Songwriting Guru, *Song  Insight.

Getting the Rhyme in a digital format proved to be quite the challenge.

  First, all of my 1/4” reel to reel tapes were almost 25 years old, and became brittle and fell apart, some got gummy and wouldn’t play.

  Then Tom died. I’m sure he had all of the 1/4” Master tapes, but I don’t have access to them now.

So, I had to use the best Cassette tape versions I could find.

  Then, the DCC (Digital Compact Cassette) player I was using (because of its warm sounding  analog

to digital converter) died. In a panic to find a replacement for the rare digital tape format, I bought the first machine I saw on ebay. It didn’t work. I bought another. It worked before I went on vacation, when I returned from vacation it didn’t work.

  So I decided to give up on the DCC and process the cassette tapes with my vintage Aphex Aural Exciter Type C to brighten up the antique, muddy, worn out analog cassette tapes, and transfer them direct to Compact Disc.

  I apologize for the low quality of the recordings, but I did the best with what I had to work with. Tom’s original reel to reel tape recordings were the best 4-track recordings I’ve ever heard. - Craig Smith.

1... In Your Eyes (4:35)   Download Song >  AIFF   MP3

*The singer is affirming the grief of a mourner at a funeral, who like so many of us, is regretting that they did not have good closure with the departed.

….so you put it off too late/the things you meant to say/it seems to always end this way/and it’s such a lonely shame/in your eyes/the story shows….

The drum and bass parts that Rick and Tork crafted almost sounds like they are one instrument, which I think is the greatest compliment that you can pay to a drum and bass player.

Every single chord in the guitar progression leaves an open B and E. This was a device that Tom and I would use on a lot of other song demos that unfortunately were never recorded.

2... Pockets Empty (3:43)   Download Song >  AIFF   MP3

*Tom was very interested in the concept of grace as opposed to karma. Tom embraced the idea that we can freely receive forgiveness in spite of our failing, rather than presume upon a reward for our own righteousness. It is my hope that Tom carried that with him to the end.

The guitar riff on this one is a variation of Nick Lowe’s Peace Love and Understanding.

3... The New You (3:45)   Download Song >  AIFF   MP3

*This is an intensely personal song that Tom wrote entirely on his own. At this time he was trying to help someone he deeply cared about to let go of the past and emerge as a new person.

….its the new you that I want to know….

Craig delivers one of his best vocals on this song.

4... Euphoria? (5:29)   Download Song >  AIFF   MP3

*This song really takes advantage of Craig’s incredible vocal range. There are some very high notes here and Craig nails them. Listen to the back ground vocals in the chorus. It’s a shame that we didn’t have digital recording in those days because there are some wonderful harmonies beneath the chorus that are barely discernable.

This one has another vintage Tom Nali solo at the end. The scary thing about those solos is Tom would often just plug in to the tape deck and record them on the first take, right off the top of his head. He felt that if it sounded good on the first take you should leave it alone cause you might loose the magic. The listener should realize that this was before the digital age where you could save three or four takes and pick the one you liked the most. This was all recorded on tape, and if you hit rewind/record you lost the track.

5... Who Locks The Door? (5:46)   Download Song >  AIFF   MP3

*This is another one of Tom’s songs, dealing the same relationship issues as The New You. In the former he is hopeful for her new beginning, and on this one he is telling her to unlock the door that has a troubled past all bound up inside.

This one shows the influence of The Moody Blues, complete with a flute solo at the end. Along with all the other instruments that he mastered Tom was an accomplished flute player. Another fine vocal performance is delivered here by Craig.

6... The Monte Carlo Game (5:17)   Download Song >  AIFF   MP3

*This is a protest song that was written in response to Le Hazard Et La Necessite, by Jacques Monad, the French pioneer of eugenics. Monad believed that the next step in man’s evolutionary development is to legislate state control over prenatal genetics, to alleviate society from the so called less desirable people being born, and to progenerate a higher species of humanity.

The rhythm and chord structure of the song was written in the militant style of Midnight Oil, a band that Tom had just introduced me to. Tom and I were also after something that sounded tribal, and wow did Rick ever get tribal on this one! This song just flat out rocks.

7... The Enemy (3:55)   Download Song >  AIFF   MP3

*Tom wrote this song in response to Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, or Star Wars as it was then called. The plan was to deploy laser technology in space to shoot down nuclear missiles at the height of their path around the globe.

….now they want the heavens ready for battle/now they want the earth down on its knees….

Tom was not against the concept of replacing the doctrine of mutual assured destruction with a doctrine of defense. What he is concerned with in this song is having that technology fall in to the wrong hands. And more importantly he is dismayed that no one at the time seemed too concerned with where this new technology may lead.

….I see you every day/I see you never asking questions/leave up to those/base their plans on misconceptions/ the enemy’s not in a foreign land/he’s in the pentagon now creeping

To my knowledge this may be the only protest song that was written against those issues. In either case it provided Tom the perfect vehicle for showcasing all the apocalyptic sounds that he was able to coax from a his guitars and keyboards.

8... Ivy Times (3:30)   Download Song >  AIFF   MP3

*There was a club of Oxford Professors who met every Thursday evening to read their works aloud to one another before they were published. In that group there was JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, and Dorothy Sayers to name a few. Can you imagine what it would have been like to sit in that room and hear Tolkien read a chapter from the Lord Of The Rings that he had just finished writing that day? There is a wonderful book about this club called The Inklings. I wrote this song after reading that book. Tom was an even bigger anglophile than me, and he just loved the imagery in this song.

9... In A Fallen World (3:58)   Download Song >  AIFF   MP3

*Marty Ross introduced Tom and I to a band called The Flaming Groovies. The three of us listened to their records for hours. We borrowed a lot of their riffs for this song, but Rick, Dave, and Tork gave it a whole new groove of their own.

10... Man Of Justice (4:49)   Download Song >  AIFF   MP3

*I still think this song could be a huge crossover hit on the country and pop charts. The guitar solo on this one is vintage Tom Nali. Note how many notes he could squeeze into a passage without overpowering the melodic flow of the song.

This is another one of our unique protest songs. This one is against the domestic policy in our country that withholds the visitation rights of fathers. Upon reflection I have to say that Tom and I chose some unusual issues to protest! But we were genuinely trying to write about real life and real people. Tom had a motto for that which I’m sorry to say I can’t remember now after so many years.

I am so glad that Craig has gone to the trouble of resurrecting these songs. I will always treasure my association with the Rhyme and my partnership with Tom, as an artist and a friend. - Brad Anderson.

About the Rhyme... Here

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