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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Missing Frets

Pipe Dreams

Review by Gary Hill

The roots of this act go back to South Africa. That's where songwriter, guitarist Shaun Lovell linked up with bassist Bind Lovell. When they moved from South Africa to Pennsylvania, Johnny Martin joined on drums. The sound here has a lot of reference points from folk rock to shoegaze and more. Overall this lands somewhere in the vein of alternative rock. The EP is a solid release from start to finish.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Cartel Sage
Acoustic guitar brings this into being with a real sense of drama and emotion. The track works out from there with a folk rock kind of texture. Somehow I'm reminded just a little of Dire Straits on this, but with plenty of folk music in the mix. This has a catchy chorus and a lot of energy. It's packed full of class and style. I dig the electric guitar solo on the number.
Nothing In Between

This cut is based on electric guitar. It has a bouncy kind of vibe. It's retro at its core, but also quite modern. There is a real classic vibe to this, yet it's rather unexpected, too. This is an intriguing tune that seems to combine roots music with an alternative rock edge that even leans toward shoegaze just a bit.

Unstuck
I like the groove on this cut a lot. The guitar sound is fuzz-laden and tasty. The tune really rocks quite well. I dig the kind of lo-if guitar solo on this tune. It lends some real charm. The whole piece is a tasty slab of noisy, yet catchy, rock. At its core, it's essentially a folk tune, but delivered in a loud rocking arrangement.
Crossroads
The rhythm section brings this in after a count-in. The cut fires out from there into some music that's more purely roots based. That said, the distortion and other elements bring more of a raw, alternative sound that's almost a bit punky. This is a nice bit of variety and a fun little tune. The later parts of the piece seem to merge Americana with alternative rock quite nicely.
Run
A bouncy kind of punky alternative rocker, this is a lot of fun. While not one of my favorites here, I like this quite a bit.
 
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