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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Tony C & The Truth

Demonophic Blues

Review by Gary Hill

This is the debut for this outfit, and I have a hunch these guys may make some serious movement in the music business - at least if talent, chops and just plain coolness will still get you anywhere. The band's sound is heavily rooted in bluesy rock and retro sounds of the '70's, but they still manage to bring a modern edge and fire to the sound - there by making it their own. This disc has a few songs that are weaker, but the truth is most of those would seem stronger on a different album. The other material raises the bar so high that it's tough to keep up. If you like bluesy rock that is both fun and edgy, while still looking back to its roots, this disc is for you.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Who I Are
This has a cool retro bluesy sound with a great Dr. John like blues rap. As the cut moves forward it includes some hip-hop like scratching and some metallic crunch guitar sections. This one turns into a Cult like stomper later. This ripper is an incredible cut and an awesome album opener. This is just such a powerful track! The ending segments here rock out so hard it almost hurts.
Good Lookin' Out
A drum machine and a baby start this, then a weird little vocal line comes in. As the acoustic guitar based bluesy line enters, this feels a bit like "Smokin' In The Boys Room". As it carries forward, though, this becomes a hard rocking bluesy jam that again feels a bit like Dr. John and The Cult, with maybe even a little Motley Crue thrown into the mix. This one has a harmonica solo for good measure. A "sing along" segment based on the weird vocal like from the intro takes it later. This is another killer cut.

Little Bit More
This comes in feeling a bit like early Grand Funk's bluesier sounds, but it switches to a funky, mellower jam for the verse. The chorus rocks up in smoking bluesy fashion. With this high-energy smoker the band are running three for three. The lyrics to this one are a rough, but cool, slightly raunchy romp.
Weight of the World
Thunder followed by conversations and laughter starts this, and then a percussive track with a bluesy rap over top takes it. Eventually they ramp it up to another hard-edged blues stomper. This includes weird effects and hip-hop like segments. Wile the chorus is strong, the song is a little inconsistent and the first non-killer on the disc. Still that chorus and a smoking guitar solo put this in the very strong, just not awesome category. It wanders into strange spacey textures to end.
Ball and Chain
More odd loops start this, then an acoustic mode, a little country a little hip-hop (ala Kid Rock) takes it. An anthemic singalong chorus works pretty well, but this cut is the weakest thus far. More sounds bites and scratches serve, with some understated guitar work, as an instrumental break later.
Someday
This starts like something from "Fat Albert" (the cartoon, not the movie), then the band launch into a cool bluesy jam. This one brings the disc back up into the killer territory, mixing both acoustic and heavy crunch bluesy tones and adding just a little hip-hop. This is another scorcher. The guitar solo here is stellar.
Got It Made
A percussive groove with vocals overtop starts this. They ramp it up to a stripped down bluesy Dr. John like mode. They ramp it up to stomper later - and this is another winner. It wanders between mellower and heavier. The only complaint on this one is that it lingers a little too long.
One 4 The Road
With a stripped down rock and roll approach, this one is a little punk and a little blues - all fun rocker! It is a great change of pace.
No Pain
A mellow classic R & B ballad type sound starts this. Female vocals on the soulful chorus add to the retro sound. This one is not one of my favorites, but its classic sound and solid delivery make for an entertaining trip. It has a couple cool laid-back guitar solos. Later in the cut it ramps into a heavier segment that's one part gospel, one part Pink Floyd. That doesn't stay around long, though, dropping back to the cut's origins.
Gravity
This one comes in very gradually with ambient tones at first, then a bluesy guitar section slowly emerges. This one moves into the song proper as a mellower, but very dramatic and dark bluesy jam. This is much different than a lot of the other material, at times feeling like Led Zeppelin, other times like Chris Isaak, but is probably my favorite tune on display here. This is just so cool.
Medusa
This one comes in super heavy with a very meaty riff. It drops to just vocals, then the instruments barely join in 'til the chorus includes some short super heavy metallic blues burst. Then they really scream it out. They do a nice job of alternating the mellower with the furious for a dramatic and awesome track. The lyrics on this one are pretty incredible, too.
Round & Round
Starting a bit like a better acoustic Springsteen, this one builds rather slowly, then shifts to a fun, if a bit non-descript mellower rocker. This bumps up in intensity later to very good effect. This is reasonably strong, but not one of the best cuts here - mainly because much of the rest of the album is so strong.

Fight For Your Right (To Party)
Yes, this is a cover of the Beastie Boys! A sound bite starts this, then the band launch into this one with a feel more like a frantic punky take on AC/DC's "Whole Lotta Rosie". They drop it down to a down home bluesy segment. They also include and extremely brief, but extremely potent Zep like segment. Chaos ends this killer cut that serves as a very strong closer to the CD.
 
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