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Non-Prog CD Reviews

If Nothing Else

Dirty

Review by Gary Hill

This act has a sound that is a great combination of rock music and country. They've produced a collection of solid tunes on this EP. The only song I have a problem with (perhaps "think is a misstep" is a better way to put it) is the last one, and that problem is with the lyrics. For the rest of the tunes they keep things fun and apolitical. On the last piece, though, they turn it political. Beyond the very divisive nature of political music in this day and age, they just seem to do a pretty clumsy job on making their meaning clear. It's really hard to figure out what they are trying to say with it. Honestly, I think they'd do better to just steer clear of the politics and focus on what they do better for future releases.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Ode to a Headstone
I love the meaty hard rocking, country-tinged vibe to the introduction on this tune. The vocals bring it more in a pure country direction, but there is plenty of rock in the mix here. This is such a strong tune with a real story to its lyrics.
Whiskey Smiter
A song exploring the virtues of alcohol consumption, this lands more full on the country music end of the spectrum. There is still a crunchy edge to some of the guitar sounds. While this isn't exactly a ballad, it is a less direct tune than the opener was.
Dirty
The guitar sounds on this is meatier. Banjo in the mix brings the country angle, though. This has a great blend of hard rock and country. The vocals even seem to walk that fence, as well.
That’s Where I Belong
A country tune with a rocking edge, this is more mainstream music. It's also a bit less interesting and more trite than the songs that came before it. Still, it works pretty well.
Sweet Baby Gang: The Anthem
I dig the edgy country rock sound on this thing. I have no idea what point the lyrics here are trying to make. They seem to be playing political, though. I think that perhaps they should stick to the more mundane and universal songwriting because this just left me wondering what point they were trying to make and if it was supposed to be ironic or if it was trying to pander to a certain audience. The band's image seems to be doing that, so perhaps it's the case, but they don't make the point clear enough on this tune for me to be sure, either way.
 
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