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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Source (South Dakota, USA)

I Feel I Need

Review by Gary Hill

This album lands somewhere in the neighborhood of bluesy hard rock with an alternative edge. There are hints of folk music, country and more in the mix. It’s an effective set with some songs that are especially strong. It isn’t without its issues, though. For one thing, the tempo and vocal arrangements don’t change enough from song to song. That makes a lot of it feel a bit too similar. Beyond that, there are things that seem a bit undeveloped or awkward. Still, overall there is a lot more to like about this than there is to dislike. And, they put two of the strongest cuts at each end of the set, making it play as a stronger release. It should be noted that this band is a South Dakota based act, not to be confused with the group of the same name from California that we’ve previously reviewed at MSJ.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
I Feel I Need

This powers in with almost metallic guitar sound. It gets more of a pop rock vibe as the other layers become more apparent. There is definitely a bluesy southern rock element at play. Overall, though, this is more of an alternative rocker. It’s a classy tune that works very well as the opener.

Goodbye My Old Friend
This cut feels a bit on the less polished side than the first tune did. It’s a good song, but a bit too much like the one that preceded it. It definitely is less effective. I really don’t like the sound on the guitar soloing here.
Take Me Away
A mellower cut, this is a little slower than the first two. It has some harmonica that adds a nice angle to the piece. It rocks pretty well.
The Raven
This seems to land somewhere between the last cut and the first two. It’s mellower than the first couple songs, but a bit more rocking than the last one. It’s the most different thing we’ve heard to this point. It’s also one of the best songs here.
Seasons Change
Another that’s quite balladic, this is a solid tune. It’s actually one of the more interesting things here. It has some intriguing instrumental elements and a great mood.
You’ve Shown Me The Way
There is a lot of country built into this mellower piece. It’s a bit on the awkward side as far as I’m concerned, though. Still, it has its moments. I dig the guitar fills in particular.
Let Your Hair Down
Country, folk rock and alternative all seem to merge here. There is a bit of a different flavor to this than contained in some of the rest, but there is a bit of a samey nature at play by this point.
Hey
I really dig the percussion element that starts this. The cut works out from there into something that’s the most unique thing here. This is the bit of variety we’ve needed. This cool rocker is one of the best things here. There is almost a jazzy element in some ways. It’s energetic and powerful, but still remains somewhat stripped back in a lot of ways.
Kicking Rocks
Back into more familiar territory, this arrangement and song structure are both better developed and more mature than some of the rest. There is still a bit of an awkward edge, but you almost have to search for it. The guitar fills, though, again take a bit away because of the tone of them. This is almost more of a folk rock meets jam band kind of piece. It’s also one of the stronger numbers here.
Daddy Said
This is a stronger tune, too. It’s more of a straightforward rocker that really works quite well. I like it a lot.
Lets Take A Ride
More mid=tempo stuff, this is a good tune, but not a standout by any means. It’s another that seems rather monolithic.
Guitars Guns And Moses
This brings some variety to the table. It’s a bit like something AC/DC might do. There is a mainstream rock vibe blended with some punk and more. It’s energized and rocking. It has a bit of an awkward feel to it, though. Still, it’s strong enough and different enough to stand tall.
Hole In My Heart
Now, this might be the best song here. It’s a killer rocker that feels a lot like something ZZ Top might do. It is one of the most effective pieces here. It serves well to close the disc in style. The female backing vocals certainly lend some bluesy edge. This one does get a parental advisory on the lyrics.
 
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