By Matthew Crist

With a style that embraces ‘90s US grunge rock and thumping twelve-string Spanish guitar folk, Through It All takes you from beer swilling anger in Seattle to sangria sipping in the Spanish sun before a quick hoedown in the deep south after a brief siesta in Mexico. Though this is the first solo offering from New York based singer/songwriter Brad Hammonds the vast array of musical influences and fine production could lead you to believe he has been around for years. The sometimes dark and often brooding lyrics combine brilliantly with an upbeat production, full to the brim with international flavour which results in a superb bitter sweet theme that runs through the album’s twelve tracks. After the haunting opening of the records title track Through It All, the tempo is raised somewhat by "The Story Of The Man Who Lost Everything" before the superb and uplifting "Medicine", complete with mariachi trumpet and thumping Spanish guitar set to a military two-step snare drum. Hammond’s granite like tones are complemented superbly by the more porcelain backing vocals of Jesse Lynn on The Judge. A striking confidence with both guitar and vocals are highlighted in the ballad-like "Favourite Time Of The Year"before the album closes with "Whiskey and Wine", which at 1 minute 34 seconds is a miniature bluegrass style drinking anthem that only the most reluctant toe would not tap along to. “Folky” guitars, funky boinks and a Mexican wind section maybe a strange combination to comprehend, but just like a big New York breakfast with savoury bacon, eggs and potatoes thrown on the same plate as sweet syrup and pancakes, it just works. (MC)