This four-man band from Vancouver may be short on flamboyance, but producer-guitarist Randy Bachman (formerly a mainstay of the Guess Who) has a sure sense of dynamics and tone. He brought B.T.O. from nowhere nine months ago with a pair of singles (“Blue Collar” and “Let It Ride”) and two good-selling albums, while everyone followed flashier stars.
Guitar sounds dominate their albums, as they reverberate meanly and crash through the group’s uncomplicated material. Bachman plays lead with imagination and power, while brother Tim is growing into a solid second guitarist (a third brother, Rob, is the drummer, and bassist Fred Turner rounds out the group). Together, they sound like a more explosive but less articulate Creedence; Turner, Randy and Tim all seem to be using John Fogerty as their vocal model.
This album’s “Welcome Home” (written and sung by Randy) is the band’s most ambitious song. A musician’s-eye view of the long-touring road to success and his mixed feelings when that success begins to come, it is alternately dominated by jazz-influenced picking and shattering chords. For the most part, B.T.O. is more noteworthy for the way it sounds than for what it says. Still, it’s quite a sound.