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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Black State Highway

Black State Highway

Review by Gary Hill

Hailing from Latvia, lead singer Liva Steinberga has a great female hard rock voice. Her sound is familiar, and yet also unique. The band almost makes it into the metal category. They definitely land in the “great” category. If you like seriously hard edged rock that’s classic and modern with a female singer, you need to check this act out immediately.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Conclusion

They power out with some killer riff driven hard rock. Although in a lot of ways this feels like Led Zeppelin with a gutsy, rock and roll female singer, some of the guitar soloing calls to mind The Allman Brothers. I have to say that it’s a weird song title with which to start a disc. That’s cool in itself.

Ain't Got Know
This screamer is cut from much the same cloth. It’s perhaps a bit crunchier, though. If anything the vocal performance on this is even more impressive.         
Broken
A slower moving, mellower tune, this is basically a power ballad that’s a lot like Zeppelin. There is a lot of magic and charm in this piece.
Free
This might be the best song of the whole album. It’s just about metal. It’s got a screaming main song structure, but there’s a dropped back mellower (almost psychedelic) section mid-track. This is a powerhouse, and I’d recommend it to anyone as a first introduction to this act.
Sacrifice
Firing out with metallic hard rock, there aren’t any surprises here, but this is still a very solid piece. This band just rocks, and this is a perfect example.
Tekkers
When the formula works this well, why change it? This is another screaming hot rocker that’s almost metal.
Common Man
A short backtracked section gives way to another metallic screamer. This has a real bluesy vibe to it.
Trouble
Here’s another killer slab of the kind of magic this act creates. It’s not Earth-shattering, but it’s just solid, killer hard rock. This one does land pretty close to the metal end of the spectrum.
 
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