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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Grand Funk Railroad

We’re An American Band

Review by Gary Hill

I’ve always been a big fan of Grand Funk. They have plenty of detractors, but when it comes to good American rock and roll – ‘70’s style, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a more consistently strong outfit. These guys were always the real deal and I’d say that this one of their best discs. Sure the title track is a classic tune and a great piece, but personally I think there’s stronger material here than that. The truth be told there’s not really a weak link here. It still holds up well today.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
We're An American Band
Percussion leads this off, we work out from there to a killer rocking sound. This is the kind of song that pretty much everyone has heard. The thing is, despite the major exposure, I still think it's an incredible tune. The music is right on the money. The vocals just plain rock. The hooks are incredibly catchy. This thing just holds up, even today. There is a reason this has been played as much as it has. It's just a great rock and roll song.
Stop Lookin' Back
A killer riff opens this and the track has a bit of a soulful texture. There’s a screaming vocal line and at times it reminds me of Humble Pie.
Creepin'
So, you think environmentalism is something new? Well, this song is all about the “rape of the Earth” by the powers that be. It’s very keyboard oriented and slow moving and yet oh so tasty. I’ve always loved this track. In fact, it’s one of my favorites on the set. There’s some especially tasty guitar soloing on the number, too. 
Black Licorice
There’s a bit of an R & B texture to some of this, but the smoking keyboard solo section is very progressive rock oriented. Whatever you call it, though, this is another energized screamer.
The Railroad
A slower track, there is a definite bluesy atmosphere and texture to this. It’s a strong cut on a disc with no weak material. I’d put this one is as another highlight of the set, though – that’s how potent it is.
Ain't Got Nobody
OK, if there is a weak track here, this is it. That said, this is still catchy and entertaining. It’s just a bit generic. 
Walk Like A Man
This bluesy rocker is more like it. It’s another strong piece of music and at times actually reminds me a bit of Captain Beyond.
Loneliest Rider
For my money this is another standout of the set. It has a Native American theme and some great keyboard sounds along with stellar performances from the rest of the band. It’s an awesome way to end the set.
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