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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Matt Turk

Washington Arms

Review by Gary Hill

This is sort of a killer slab of classic rock mixed with singer songwriter music. There’s a decent range of elements from more energized to mellower, but overall this is pretty consistent stuff. It’s also very strong and this comes highly recommended.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Into Nothing

Here’s an awesome way to start an album. An energized, spinning sort of riff opens this. Then the whole thing moves out into a killer retro tinged tune with a catchy hook. “Hook” is precisely the right word because this rocker definitely hooks the listener.

Without Her
A balladic introduction leads off this cut, a major contrast. It’s intimate and vulnerable. From there, though, it powers out to a melodic rocker. This isn’t the instant hit that the opener was, but in some ways it’s more poignant and powerful.
All Over You
There’s a real rock and roll vibe to this that makes me think of The Rolling Stones. I can almost make out a Sweet element, too.
Queen of the Set
Mix Cheap Trick with Tom Petty and you might have a pretty good idea of what this rocker sounds like. There’s a bit of a Beatles riff in some of the guitar here.
I'd Love to Change the World
Here we get a cover song. This is a pretty reverent version. The keyboards that are laced over this add a bit of a different flavor. The rhythm section gets a more modern concept later, too. Overall, the further this gets into the cut, the more modern it sounds. I definitely prefer the original, but this is a good take on it.
Amanda
This is a melodic alternative rocker. It’s got some hints of country music at times, but mostly it’s retro styled rock.
Silver Ring
This retro sounding balladic cut definitely has some country music in the mix.
Endurance
More or less an alternative rock power ballad, this song is awesome. It’s got some great musical moments and the drama and passion are top-notch.
Nowhere to Go
I love this alternative rock ballad. It’s got a lot of retro textures and really works well.
Sky
Here’s a dramatic rocker in the fashion of 1970s hard rockers. This is just plain classic and falls just behind the disc’s opener as second best tune here. Talk about starting and ending on high notes. All in all, this is a great way to end a killer disc.
 
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