This is a review by Kelly Mulholland of Still on the Hill, who mentored Chris when he first started playing the bass, and gave important information that helped Chris finalize the production of this CD, which he produced almost single handedly. What I really like about this is that Chris envisioned that a band would materialize if he would get the CD out there, and it did! Thanks Kelly, for all your help and your encouraging words!
The Flight Brigade, ‘Help Is On The Way’
Chris Mikkelson has put together a remarkable debut CD with the release of ‘Help Is On The Way’. The CD reflects a first rate sensibility for what makes a pop song tick combined with a keen sense of creative production techniques. Chris is primarily a bass player but the studio seems to be his instrument as well. He combines his own excellent musicianship with all sorts of synthetic instruments to create a sound scape that never seem even a bit machine like. At times it rocks really hard but in a moment is breaks down to more sublime texture. This is one exciting recording from start to finish. There is a ragged raw energy with a wide range of texture changes from song to song and within each song as well. I say ragged to mean that this CD has a good ‘human’ hand made feel that never sounds ‘slick’. The ever positive opening cut, Help Is On The Way, comes out full tilt with an riveting anthemic chorus. The pace is relentless. The second cut, Two Edge Knife, is the polar opposite in attitude, a relentless condemnation of worldly temptations. Here, the production is absolutely mesmerizing-a very creative arrangements of guitars and keyboards and drum grooves. The CD roars on, cut after cut. It’s a rocking CD for sure, but with many islands of texture change that make every cut a journey. Every instrument and even many vocal parts are fair game for all sorts of clever electronic processing painting an almost psychedelic tone at times but classic rock grooves keep it all very grounded. Right on to the end this CD keeps up the pace. The power rocker, Take Back the Light, keeps the guitars blazing over the top with rich, liquid razor tones. The closing cut, Somewhere, is a cool down from the rest of the CD. Simply beautiful. Nice long melody that just rises up a lifts you up. You would do well to check this CD out. It is rich with honest lyrics, great melodies, rich arrangements, and great tunes.