"The Hardship Diaries" is the new solo album from InMe front man Dave McPherson; it's a mostly acoustic affair with an emotional core and plenty of angsty venting in the lyrical content, and with a note on the back inner cover in memory of his Grandfather who passed away this year, you know that the content will be personal and raw.
McPherson has an ear for a decent melody and retains, on some of the tracks, his distinctive vocal delivery which suits rock tunes well but doesn't always work for this kind of low key album, you can hear this straight away on opener 'Hearts Need Blood' where phrases can sound strained and the wooh's drag out far too long. On some tracks he gets it just right; 'She Puts Me In A Good Mood' for example where the more over the top warbling is toned down and the track is warm and easy going and the emotional 'Before I Even Had You' which is one of the album highlights.
McPherson has obviously injected a lot of himself into this record; the personal lyrics, the low key acoustic guitar work, some of which is really nice. This does however ultimately come across as a very personal project, the fact that he had assistance funding the album from pledges seems to indicate it has not been undertaken as a commercial endeavour and while it has some solid moments it is very much one for the fans of his previous work to pour over.