90. Sweet Comfort Band: Perfect Timing

(Light Records, 1984)
(Light Records, 1984)

Sweet Comfort Band was one of the early CCM rock bands that offered a viable alternative for Christians who liked radio friendly rock ‘n’ roll – and they sounded a lot like Chicago. Just check out the first track Breakin’ The Ice, the band’s second album that came out in 1979.

And over a six-record carer, the Sweet Comfort Band kept churning out inoffensive soft rock. Perfect Timing was the band’s final release, and if you’re going to go out, you might as well go out with a bang. And Perfect Timing certainly didn’t disappoint.

I can still remember buying the cassette in 1984, with it’s cool, ultra-modern album cover, when it first came out – and I loved it. The first song and title track, featured catchy “gang” vocals and blistering guitar solos. And the wailing guitar continued on Habit of Hate. In fact, I’m still amazed at the great combination of heavy electric guitar and vocal harmonies vocals.

By the third song, Sweet Comfort Band had stripped things down to piano, and that raunchy guitar soloing is nowhere way to be found. Nevertheless it’s a great tune, and Bryan Duncan’s vocals are strong as ever. But straight after You Led Me To Believe, the band is back with blazing guitars in a great song called Don’t Bother Me NowComputer Age closes out the first side, and I really like the sound, which is more  XTC than Chicago.

The ever-catchy Sing for the Melody kicks off the second side of the record, with more harmonizing and the kind of keyboard work you’d expect from Degarmo & Key. On Lookin’ For an Answer, the band dares to begin the song with a heavy guitar riff, that, even though it’s tempered with keys, gives the song a real nice edge throughout. For some reason, Envy and Jealous reminds my of the Hall and Oates song You’re Out of Touch, although I’d prefer Duncan’s vocals any day of the week. The band manages to get in one more ballad (the soul-laid bare Never Should Have Left You) before the album comes to a close with Neighborhood Kids, which has a funky groove and is perhaps the coolest song the record.

And there you have it. Sweet Comfort Band “went there separate ways” later that fateful summer in 1984, but not before the release of a great CCM record. And although I’ve never been a huge fan of John and Dino Elefante, who are usually guilty of bringing too much keyboard and overbearing, overproduced vocals to the table, I think Sweet Comfort Band profited immensely from the later’s work on recording Perfect Timing. 

For the band, it was indeed Perfect Timing, a final farewell they can be proud of to this day.

TRACK TITLES:

1. Perfect Timing
2. Habit Of Hate
3. You Led Me To Believe
4. Don’t Bother Me Now
5. Computer Age
6. Sing For The Melody
7. Looking For The Answer
8. Envy And Jealousy
9. Prodigal’s Regret (Never Should Have Left You)
10. Neighborhood Kids

LISTEN HERE:

http://grooveshark.com/#!/album/Perfect+Timing/2483408

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