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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Jay Clark Band

The Time Is Now

Review by Gary Hill

The blend of sounds here is intriguing. We get everything from country to raunch and roll, hard rock, southern rock and more. It's all delivered in a mainstream and accessible style. Nothing here is Earth-shattering, but it's all very entertaining. They vary it enough to keep it from ever feeling redundant or tired, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Not Giving Up
This powers in with a classic rock vitality and riff. It has a great raunch and roll vibe to it. There are hints of country and southern rock built into it, too. This is catchy, energized and classic.
You're Going Down
Now, the southern rock is the real core of this tune. It's not far removed from some modern country music. That said, it's got a powerhouse, crunch driven sound to it that's all rock and roll.
Leaving
Another smoking hot rocker, this has plenty of country music packed into the mix. This is another that could probably qualify as modern country in a lot of ways. I love the killer rocking guitar solo on this thing.
Find a Way
Starting with piano, this cut makes me think of a country version of the band Train. The twang on the vocals definitely bring a lot more of that down-home element. The cut has sort of a power-ballad approach in terms of the construction and style of the piece.
Bring Down the House
This has some definite AC/DC in the mix. The country concepts are still represented from the vocals. The hooks on this are great, and the tune is a killer mid-tempo piece. It's a real stomper. For some reason, it makes me think of the more mainstream rocker side of Alice Cooper just a bit at times, too.
Stand Out
I love the metallic riff that opens this. The cut fires out into some killer raunch and roll from there. This really could fit well into the 80s metal category.
Alive
The acoustic guitar sound that opens this has a down-home blues meets country vibe. As it works to the rock ballad song proper, I'm reminded of Guns N' Roses quite a bit. This gets into some harder rocking stuff as it continues, but it's really a power ballad just like you would expect from GNR. That said, there is a bit of a twang built into it.
Nothing Good in Life Ever Lasts
Now, this is full country music. Sure, it has the modern rocking edge to it, but it's a definite country song. It has some great hooks and works really well. I dig the guitar solo on this thing a lot.
Hell of a Time
A cool southern rocker, this is all class. It's catchy and has some good raunch and roll in the mix. There is a definite country edge, too.
Long Long Journey

There is an interesting mix of sounds here. That southern rock edge is still present. Yet there are things about this accessible rocker that make me think of things ranging from Kiss to UFO. The balance between mellower and more rocking is great on this. It's one of the best tunes here, making it a great choice for closer.

 
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