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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Tiebreaker

We Come from the Mountains

Review by Gary Hill

I’ve reviewed some previous works from Tiebreaker. I’ve really liked their sound quite a bit on those. That didn’t truly prepare me for this full album, though. I mean, while I liked their sound on the EP and the two singles, this far surpasses both of those. This is killer hard-edged classic rock. It works from start to finish. If you like old school hard rock, you’ll love this. It doesn’t get much better than what we have here. It should be noted that, since I reviewed two of these songs as singles previously, the track reviews here have been adapted from those for the sake of consistency.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Early Morning Love Affair

Percussion starts this off and holds it for a time. Even when the bluesy guitar joins, it’s tentative at first. It eventually settles into a killer classic rock jam that’s got a bit of a Southern rock sound in it. The vocal arrangement just plain rocks. This has some great hooks.

Nicotine
Hard rocking and energized, this is a classic rock sounding tune. It’s a real screamer. Yet, it’s not just raw rock and roll. There are some subtle elements here. For one thing, listen to the bass line. That bass guitar just plays with serious intensity. There’s also a great instrumental break mid-song that leans it towards progressive rock. The vocals are tastefully raw. There’s a killer slower section later that has a lot of Black Sabbath built into it. The keyboards over the top, though, lend a different sound to it.
Homebound Part 1
The keyboard sound that starts this is a bit like Deep Purple. The tune quickly moves out from there into a melodic rocker that’s got a lot of Southern rock in the mix. It shifts towards rather psychedelic jam band sounds mid track. This is just so tasteful and tasty.
The Getaway
We’re back into scorching riff based music here. The scream at the start of this, especially combined with that riff, makes me think of Deep Purple. The cut is a a hard rocking jam with a killer vocal arrangement and some great musical hooks. In some ways, it makes me think of Sweet. In other ways, Deep Purple remains a valid reference point. You could also mention Mountain, too. The instrumental section has some particularly noteworthy guitar soloing.
Where Can Love Go Wrong?
The arrangement that opens this is so classic rock oriented that it’s scary. It seems like something that would have been all over the radio on the 1970s. They drop it back to a somewhat more contemporary sound for the verses. This is still very classic in texture and sound. It’s a killer rocker with great vocals, stellar instrumentals and some solid hooks. This is just such a great rocking groove. Everything gels well here. If you like the 1970s rock sound, you will love this. It’s smoking hot.
El Macho Supreme
Another high energy, screaming rocker, this is great. It’s very much in keeping with the 1970s hard rocking sound. That said, it seems a bit more energized than that suggests. This is what the 70s hard rock should have sounded like.
Trembling Son

There is a bit of a down-home blues sound as this starts. It works to more scorching electric blues based hard rock from there. Mountain is a very valid reference here. Perhaps Montrose wouldn’t be out of the question, either.

Homebound Part 2
This melodic rocker is among the most unexpected (and coolest) things here. It moves through a number of shifts and changes. In some ways it makes me think of Pink Floyd just a little at times. Still, there is much more of a jam band thing going on than that particular reference would suggest. Whatever you call it, though, this is complex, involved and very potent. I like it a lot.
Walk Away
There is definitely a slow blues grind to this. That said, it lands on the classic rock side of that equation. It’s also a very classy piece. I’m not sure it’s the kind of thing I would have ended the set with, but it works pretty well in that slot.
 
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