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Dream Kid
The Sutherland Brothers and Quiver

Island SW-9341
Released: May 1974
Chart Peak: #193
Weeks Charted: 3

The Sutherland Brothers and Quiver were just meant to be together. All it took was Suths' head boy Wayne Bardell acting as liaison to complete an amalgamation fated by Destiny: Iain and Gavin, with an abundance of original material needed a band to help them rock it and Quiver, who'd remained obscure after recording two respectable LP's, were searching for just such a plentiful source of songs. Though only half of last year's Lifeboat was a true collaboration, it managed to foreshadow the ultra-smooth meshing of gears that's resulted in Dream Kid, produced by Muff Winwood.

Even on their first album (recorded with the aid of only a bassist and drummer), it was clear that their skill at composing the lovely and melodious, matched by a propulsive rhythmic thrust, called only for the proper rock 'n roll treatment. The convergence has been mutually beneficial: Just as the Suths give Quiver a direction for their instrumental prowess, Quiver in turn give the Brothers a distinct foundation for their songwriting.

The Sutherland Brothers and Quiver - Dream Kid
Original album advertising art.
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But the Quiverlands don't just play the songs, they give them life by uniting singly as all real bands do. On each verse of "Champion The Underdog" Tim Renwick and Pete Wood cast out lines of guitar and organ, the limber rhythm section of bassist Bruce Thomas and drummer Willie Wilson tenses up like a taut bow and, when Iain and Gavin's harmonies let fly on the buoyant chorus, the sound sails arrow-straight.

The three-part melody that closes Dream Kid is another perfect display of the Quiverland's dexterity in handling the delicate and the robust without sounding schizoid. The diverse elements cohese effectively when "Rolling Away" (as wistfully poignant as "You and Me" and "Lonley Love") gives way to a surge of organ and ringing guitar, escalating "Rocky Road" to a more intense level; "Saved By The Angel" then moves ecstatically in leaps and bounds, prodded by the Sutherlands' guitars -- propellant devices, not just props -- and a crackling bottom provided by Wilson and Thomas. It's not 'til this number's over that you stop to realize just how much ground the Quiverlands have covered in less than six minutes.

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Quiver Lyrics

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And for those of you who hunger occasionally to hear the music you like on the radio, the Suths and Quiver can be irresistably commercial, too. Iain and Gavin never strain for profundity which is perhaps why they are able to conceive lyrics incisive as those of "Bad Loser": "Living your life in your own sweet way/wishing your heart was on fire/standing alone at the end of the day/your troubles are getting you higher." With charming, quirky slide figures over acoustic guitars and the organ peeking through when not providing a lush backdrop, the tune is catchy and, at two minutes and five seconds, it couldn't miss as a single.

The current single, the LP's title tune, is as definitive Quiverlands as last summer's "You Got Me Anyway," an exceptional composition, clothed in a simple but exquisitely-tailored arrangement complete with the crispness that characterizes all of Quiver's playing, plus the reliable blending of Iain's voice with Gavin's. Look out, here come the Dream Kids.

- Doug Collette, Zoo World, 7/18/74.

Bonus Review!

The Sutherland Brothers and Quiver specialize in crisp, catchy three-minute pop-rockers. They succeed best with their singles, like last year's marvelous "You Got Me Anyway" and this album's captivating "Dream Kid." But on Dream Kid they've also gained considerable consistency. The songs roll along delightfully, with tasteful instrumental work and fine harmony vocals. Best of the high-quality lot are the title track, "Champion The Underdog," and "Maker," with its submerged "I Am The Walrus" atmosphere.

- Ken Barnes, Rolling Stone, 7/18/74.

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