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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Pat Travers

Hot Shot

Review by Gary Hill

You kind of know what you are going to get when you put on a Pat Travers CD. I mean, the guy has a way of taking pretty standard fare, riff based rock and roll and turning it into something special. He may have never gotten quite the same level of fame for his guitar pyrotechnics as Ted Nugent or Eddie Van Halen, but I’d say he’s every bit as good. The man can rock. There’s not a weak song here, but not everything stands quite as tall as the rest. That really says a lot about the quality of Travers’ music. This is reissue is highly recommended in my opinion.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
I Gotta Fight

This powers out as a hard rocker on the intro, but that fades away. Then mellower sounds come in and the piece works out gradually in almost atmospheric ways. Before the one minute mark, though, the hard rocking, bluesy riff based jam emerges and we’re on our way. This is a killer tune that’s very classy. Cool shifts and changes emerge and the guitar solo is great. There are some sections of this that land close to fusion.

Killer
Crunchier, this is almost heavy metal. It’s a real screamer and a great tune. It’s somewhat straightforward in its approach. When it’s this good, though, that’s not a bad thing at all. The hooks are catchy and the guitar is mean. What more can you ask?
Just Try Talking (To Those Dudes)
I love the driving bass line on this. Of course, the guitar (which at times moves towards fusion) on this is great. Come on, it’s Pat Travers. This is a great hard rock, riff based number. It’s amazing how that simple concept can be taken to something of this high level of artistic merit. The female backing vocals add a soulful vibe to this thing and it’s another great tune on a disc full of great tunes.
Hot Shot
As good as everything leading up to this point has been, the title track stands taller than any of those songs. It’s a high energy rocker that just plain smokes. It’s classic. You really don’t need to know a lot more than the fact that hooks are great and so is the guitar soloing.
Women on the Edge of Love
If there’s a weak song here (and that’s not definite) this is it. It’s not bad. It just doesn’t stand up as tall as some of the rest. It’s a bit mellower (but far from being really mellow). It’s also just lacking a certain fire. Still, the guitar solo is strong, but that’s a given.
In the Heat of the Night
For some reason this piece makes me think of Kiss a bit. Still, once the vocals join, it’s distinctly Pat Travers.
Louise
This is another energetic rocker with trademark Travers guitar soloing all over it. While the song itself isn’t the best thing here, the guitar solo really shines.
Night into Day
A bit mellower and more melodic, this is a nice bit of variety. Still, it’s trademark Travers. It’s got an almost proggy element to it at times.
 
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