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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Wendy?!

Notebook

Review by Gary Hill

The blend of rock sounds here is pretty diverse. Some of this is hard edged, while other songs land closer to more melodic. Things from psychedelia to punk rock to glam are all referenced here and there. The most frequent influence I hear is David Bowie. This is quite an effective set. The vocals, though, are a little rough around the edges at times.

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
Brain Drain

After a proggy, intricate jam at the opening, this powers out to some serious hard rocking sounds. It’s a bit grungy and quite riff driven. There are hints of punk on this and just a lot of energy. It has some unusual shifts and turns, though, with some more melodic movements emerging at times. There are moments when this leans towards vintage psychedelia, really.   

Lover's Lies
More of a melodic rocker, this has some great musical moments. I really love the tasteful guitar solo section and the whole piece is very classy. It has almost a power ballad approach to it in a lot of ways.
I'm Sick
Combining a bluesy hard rock with a punk type concept, this is good. It’s just not at the same level as the two opening pieces.
Hallelujah, I've Got a Gun
Psychedelia, punk and more combine on this piece. It’s got a fairly complex arrangement. At times I’m reminded just a bit of David Bowie. It should be noted that this piece does earn a bit of a parental advisory. It drops back to mellow psychedelia mid-track and then comes out with a melodic jam that starts mellow and turns harder edged as it continues. That gives way to a return to the song proper, though.
I'm Gonna Try
A mellower and more psychedelic number, Bowie would be a valid reference point at times here. This does rock out more at times. It’s got a real 60s vibe to it.
Ddr (The Sea of Rome)
I love the smoking hot riff that drives this. This instrumental has a very 1970s kind of vibe and is just a great groove.  
Everything Will Be Done
This instrumental is mellower and more like a ballad.
At Your Door
Another that seems to combine hard edged blues rock and a punk sensibility, this is fun. The guitar solo section on this is pretty hot. There is a real Mott the Hoople vibe later, too.
Breakout Plan
I love the riff driven hard rocking sound on this tune. It’s accessible and quite tasty. It’s a great tune, really. The mellower section here again calls to mind Bowie a bit.
Sleepwalker
This melodic rocker definitely makes me think of Bowie. It’s a cool tune and one of the better ones here.
Reprise
A balladic tune, this has some elements of Bowie in the mix. It’s a little bluesy, too. It’s not a bad song, but not one of the highlights and perhaps not the best choice to end things.
 
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