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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Tafoya's Lost Boyzz

Life

Review by Greg Olma

Michael Tafoya has been a part of the musical landscape around Chicago since the mid-70’s. Starting with the Boyzz, moving to the B’zz, and now fronting Tafoya’s Lost Boyzz, Mike Tafoya has always kept true to good old fashioned rock. I know that there are a lot of retro bands out there but few can boast a collection of solid songs like these guys. They have taken the best elements from 70’s rock and put them all together in this 10 song CD. Michael Tafoya might stand out on this record with his fluid, melodic guitar leads but both Chris McCoy (drums) and Erik Osland (bass) lay a solid foundation, giving the “power” to this power trio. If you are like me and like your rock in the vein of Foghat, Rush, Ted Nugent, and Frank Marino to name a few, then this is a must buy. You can either get this CD from the band on their website www.tafoyaslostboyzz.com or from www.cdbaby.com

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Spread Your Love Around
Although musically this cut has a lot going for it, the vocals kind of ruin it for me. The song itself has a 70’s rock vibe but the vocals almost have a late 60’s thing that just seems out of place. It’s a shame that this is the first song because there are much better tunes on this CD.
Crystal Morning
This starts off with a bit of 70’s Styx but builds into a plodding rock tune. The band put in some great vocal harmonies that really lift this song. They should have opened with this cut.
Get Up, Get Down
The chorus gets a little repetitive but all in all, this is a potent rocker played in the tradition of other great power trios like Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush and Ted Nugent (first LP).
Life
This ballad reminds me of “Beyond The Realms Of Death” by Judas Priest. It’s one of my favorite tracks on the CD and the guitar playing is top notch.
Long Time Ago
The vocal delivery and guitar work have a 70’s rock sound that is like Frank Marino mixed with Rush. This stuff may have a retro sound but all of it is played really well and they take the best elements from that era and drive it home.
Boogie With Me
Just as the title suggests, this is a boogie rocker that moves along quite nicely. It has some Status Quo in there with maybe a little Foghat but most of all, it is a boogie tune that makes you want to get up and get moving. This would make a great encore.
Hammer Head
This is a Kiss rocker (Gene Simmons style) with some BOC thrown in for good measure. It is another winner off the disc and shows how you can write good hard rock tunes and still be melodic. If this was released in the 70’s, it would be considered one of the heaviest things around.
Outside My Window
Here is another boogie rocker that has a really catchy riff. Although “Boogie With Me” is slightly better, this comes as a close second. These guys seem to be able to pull this stuff off without sounding dated.
Drive By / Sturgis
Although I thought this was an instrumental, about halfway through we get some vocals, it is one of the best tunes here. The start (I guess the “Drive By” part) has a very jazzy Santana feel but the “Sturgis” part has a slightly different vibe going for it that I just can’t put my finger on. The guitar work here is awesome and definitely should get them some attention.
Over Now
Here is a blues tune that has a little Rush and Triumph in there. It has a smokey bar band feel and it serves as a really great way to end the disc. Even though the CD started a little shaky, it certainly worked its way into something special.
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