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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Signal 13

Destination Unknown

Review by Gary Hill

This EP showcases a cool band. While the lead vocals are of the female variety (Vicky Starr), I actually only realized that on one song. This is an edgy, old-school hard rocking release in terms of the vocal presence. I have to say that I like this quite a bit, but there are a couple things that don't work as well for me. One of those is that there is a bit of a formulaic approach to the way the songs are built, with more built up openings and chorus sections and stripped back verses. The other is that I don't think the vocals are always completely effective. Then again, this isn't the kind of music that demands virtuosity or a lot of originality or creativity, and this act really rocks with the best of them.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Dirty
Coming in with a killer metal stomping texture, this works out to more of a raunch and roll kind of groove. It's still decidedly metal, though. I'm reminded to a large degree of early Motley Crue or Poison. 
Karma
Starting heavier, this is a meatier, less "pop metal" oriented. It's a little rawer, too. The verses are more stripped back, but the choruses rock like crazy. I love the killer bass work later in the track.
Make It Rain
I love the smoking hot riff that leads this track out of the gate. The cut works out to another more stripped back section for the verse. This has a lot of that raunch and roll vibe to it. I'm reminded just a bit of Jane's Addiction here. The more powered up sections on this are exceptionally cool.
Stay With Me
A dramatic sound drives this. Led Zeppelin is perhaps more of a reference here in terms of the musical arrangement. The vocals have some of that rough around the edges DIY element, though. This is another powerhouse tune. The guitar fills and musical structure of this might be the highlight of the disc, really.
All Fired Up
High energy and blues rocking at its heart, this is a fun cut. It's the least metal tune here, but it's also one of the highlights. It's a good time rock and roller.
 
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