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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Hangmen

East of Western

Review by Gary Hill

The vocals here are often in the vein of Stiv Bators. The music has a great punk rock sort of approach. At times, though, they work closer to the type of music done by Lords of the New Church and they even take things into Americana and territory close to country at points. All in all, this is a strong disc.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Homesick Blues

The killer riff that drives this is great. The sneering vocals definitely make me think of Stiv Bators. It’s a song that’s not that far removed from something he would have done with Lords of the New Church.

I'm Your Man

Here’s another punk rock stomper. Bators is without question a valid reference point here, too. But this one has a bit less of a hard rocking edge.

Had a Girl

This is much slower and mellower. It’s basically a rough around the edges ballad with equal parts Americana, country and punk.

Graverobbers

There’s definitely plenty of that Bators’ element in place here. It’s a mid-tempo punk rock stomper that’s very cool.

Drink Smoke

While there are no molds broken here, this one brings a lot of charm and character to the table. In fact, somehow it reminds me a bit of Lords of the New Church’s “Gun Called Justice,” and that’s high praise from me. I like this tune a lot. It might be the best on the disc.

Railroad Man

There’s more of a stripped down, but still raw and crunchy, roots rock element here. It’s less of a punker and the vocals sound less like Bators. Still, hints of both remain. It’s a good tune, and a nice change up.

Betrayed

There are no big changes here. It’s just more of the same kind of music we heard on the last one. That said, it’s another strong tune.

Big Red Rooster

The Stiv Bators elements is back in place here and I love the crazy psychedelic meets punk rock sound of the guitars. This is another highlight of the set.

She Cracked

More pure punk rock is heard here. It’s another great tune on a set that has no shortage of great material.

Haunted
A slow, acoustic based ballad, this is great. It certainly still punk, but it’s also suitably haunting.
 
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