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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Alias Wayne

Firebrand

Review by Gary Hill

I reviewed a different set from this artist in the previous issue of Music Street Journal. Alias Wayne is the solo project of Ranzel X Kendrick. Like that first set, this one brings us a collection of songs that draw from a variety of sounds. All of them feel classic in so many ways, though. This is another strong set.

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
Radiation Town
I dig the killer blues-rocking groove that brings this into being. The cut works out into a classy rocker with health helpings of the blues built into it. There are some catchy hooks, and the whole tune just rocks like crazy with a bit of alternative edge. This is a great opener. The guitar solo is so classy and expressive.
Joan of Ottawa
A bit more of a folk rock based number, this doesn’t have the blues edge of the previous cut. It’s more acoustic guitar oriented rather than the electric guitar element of the opener. This has some blues-rock texture brought in later, by the electric guitar, though.
The Young & The Brave
Piano brings this cut into being. The vocals come in over the top of that arrangement. That combination remains the concept behind this classic sounding piece.
Fixin' To Die Rag
This old Country Joe and the Fish number gets a modernized take here. This is a fun cut. I prefer this version to the original. While there is a bit of a modern edge to it, and reworked lyrics, it remains close to the old version in a lot of ways.
Give Me My Freedom
A rocking cut, this feels a bit like The Grateful Dead to me. The female vocals lend an interesting angle to the piece. This is a catchy number and has some killer guitar fills built into it.
Real World
This rocker has a lot of alternative sound in the mix. It’s energized and fun. It’s another strong tune on a disc packed full of potent material.
 
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