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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Joetown

Pills and Ammo

Review by Gary Hill

If you like your rock hard edged and raw with lots of retro music textures in the mix, then this is an album you need to check out. With plenty of 1970’s rock woven into this, it’s a great album that’s sure to entertain. You’ll hear Guns N Roses and Stone Temple Pilots, but also some extreme metal and more old school rock and roll. The thing is, they vary it quite a bit from song to song to keep it interesting. If there’s one complaint, though, I’d say that the first half of the disc has less variety than the final half – perhaps they should have moved a couple songs to shake things up just a little more. Parents should be warned that there are several “F-bombs” throughout the course.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Hole in My Soul
I love the talk box bit that starts this. The cut works out to a hard-edged jam that is part grunge, part punk and all cool. The talk box returns later in the piece. This has some particularly meaty guitar work built into it. This raw and intense, but also catchy.
Finger

A frantic bass riff starts this off. Then the launch out into a scorching jam that’s got plenty of bluesy 1970’s rock in it. The guitar solo on this has a more psychedelic texture but feels like something Ted Nugent might play.

Lonely Town Blues

The general concept isn’t greatly altered, but this cut has its own unique identity. It’s a real screamer. This material is so strong that no one is going to be bothered with the fact that there’s a definite similarity to a lot of it.

Crash

Here’s something different. This is a screaming modern metal cut that feels like Lemmy from Motorhead might be on it. There’s a killer melodic metal solo here, but in many ways this is fairly extreme. It includes some death growls at points.

All My Angels

There’s a definite Guns ‘N Roses meets Godsmack sort of feeling to this. It seems that once they opened the can of “whoop metal” on “Crash,” it was hard to put the demons back in their cages. This is another fiery and ferocious number that just plain rocks. It’s less extreme in the vocal department, but not in the music.

American Alter

They bring down the intensity for this number. It’s got an almost balladic approach to it and I can hear Guns ‘N Roses and Stone Temple Pilots on this one. At almost seven minutes in length this is the longest cut on show here.

La Tuning

They take it into even mellower territory here with this acoustic guitar ballad. It’s good, and a nice change of pace, but far from the strongest thing on show here. Other instruments are added later to fill out the arrangement, but this never rises even to the point of hard rock, let alone metal.

Devil As Woman

This is just a short little bit of some crunch rock blues. It’s less than a minute long.

Broken Man

Combine GNR with Stone Temple Pilots. Throw in a little Cult and you’ve got a good idea of what this powerhouse number sounds like.

Tres Mujeres

Simply a short instrumental (less than a minute), this is quite tasty.

My Anger Knows No Bounds
Here we are back out into another smoker. It’s not that different in format from “Broken Man” in some ways, but there are more of the extreme metal bits we heard earlier in the album and there are points that make me think of Southern Culture on the Skids.
 
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