Brave Belt II
Brave Belt began in the early 1970's when original Guess Who singer Chad Allen, and original Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman decided to have a second go at forming a band. Allen left the Guess Who early on in their career when the band began to become too hard rock for him. By the time of Brave Belt's second album in 1972, he was pretty much gone from the band as well, for much the same reason.
Allen is not listed as a band member on the credits of Brave Belt II, although he writes and sings two of the songs, including Brave Belts only hit, the uber-folk Dunrobin's Gone.
The band as listed consists of C.F. Turner, Randy Bachman and Robbie Bachman. The addition of other Bachman brother Tim would turn this band into BTO. It shows on this album, at least in terms of sound. Where it doesn't show is quality.
Brave Belt II has two or three decent songs, the very un-BTO Dunrobin's Gone being far and away the best song here. But there is no consistency, no momentum, and no showcase songs that would make you get excited about the album.
What this album is, truthfully, is a transition album between the band Brave Belt was supposed to be, a vehicle to showcase folk oriented Allen, and what they became: BTO. But in between, there is a complete lack of focus, not to mention very good songs.
Listening, it's very hard to believe the same group of musicians would put out that great first BTO album within the year, but they did. The sound is much the same, the heavy guitar, Turner's growl of a voice. Yet it is just not very coherent, not very well written and not, frankly, very good. Based on the evidence that is Brave Belt II; compared to BTO I, it appears Tim Bachman deserves much more credit than he has ever gotten before.
And that is just not saying very much about Brave Belt.