Ralf Dee is a new name to me. He is a singer /guitarist from Bavaria, Germany. He used to be the bass player in a band called the Garden Gang, who toured a lot with T V Smith, apparently . Ralf now fronts a four-piece band called, curiously enough, the Ralf Dee Band and they have just released their first album, "Destination Unknown". This being the follow up to a solo EP that Ralf released in 2009 called "Just For a Little While".
"Destination Unknown" was recorded in Munich in 2011/12 and was produced by veteran Bavarian punk musician Chris Void of the band "Pearls for Pigs"
Two things struck me on first hearing of this album. The first is Ralf's voice. It immediately sounded familiar but I could not place it. Then it came to me. He sounds a dead-ringer for former Television singer/guitarist Tom Verlaine. For me this is no bad thing, as Television were one of my favourite bands.
The second thing to strike me was the quality of the songs .They were all written by Ralf [as was the music]. Now, with Ralf coming from Germany, it would be reasonable to assume that English is not his first language. However, this is not apparent from the songwriting on this album, which is confident and self-assured and uses a variety of styles to tell the story of a journey to an "Unknown Destination".
The songs are set in a mainly acoustic folk-rock setting with some tasteful electric guitar playing courtesy of Philipp Schlegel giving them an occasional rocky edge. The 13 tracks on the album are catchy and radio-friendly without being predictable or clichéd and make excellent music for listening to while driving.
Overall, a fine debut album by Ralf Dee and his Band.
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