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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Tokyo Tramps

Fearless Heart

Review by Gary Hill

There is a dichotomy to this. The music has a real old school rock vibe to it. The vocals, though, bring more of a DIY/punky edge a lot of the time. The group is essentially a duo of Satoru Nakagawa (vocals and guitars) and Yukiko Fujii (vocals and bass), That gives them both male and female lead vocals. They are joined by Josh Dion (drums and vocals). Jim Weider is a guest who provides slide and acoustic guitar. This is intriguing music that works pretty well.

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Track by Track Review
Sweet Melody
Classic guitar sounds bring us in here. This is a classy rocker cut from 1970s blues rock tendencies. It has some solid guitar fills. The vocals (both male and female) bring a more punky angle to it.
The Mississippi and New Orleans
Here we get even more of a blues sound. Musically this feels more like The Rolling Stones to me. The vocals again bring some punky edge to this.
Where Did You Hide Your Love?
A bit punkier in general, there is some mainstream rock here, too. It has a bit of a pop-rock angle, but the DIY angle brings the punk to bear. The instrumental section brings almost an Emotional Rescue Stones era vibe.
Blues Leave Me Alone
I really love the blues groove on this and the guitar fills. While the vocals still bring some DIY angles, they fit closer to what one would expect. The guitar solo is melodic fire, too. This is one of my favorites here.
Open the Door
More mainstream rock based, this is sort of a power ballad. It also works somewhat better than some of the rest here.
Can't Find My Way Home
This reminds me of the kind of ballad Elvis Presley might have done, but the vocals bring it into a different zone.
Loneliness Is a Social Disease
Old school rock and roll delivered with a healthy helping of punky vocals is the idea here.
Heart Of Life
I really love the guitar work and overall dramatic groove of this tune. The vocals are more mainstream on this.
I Don't See My Star Tonight
This ballad has a lot of country in the mix. It's another that's more mainstream in terms of vocal delivery.
Young Lion
The guitar soloing on this makes me think of classic rockers like Derek and the Dominoes and the Eagles. This has good energy and lands somewhere in the between ballad and rocker, particularly early. It gets more powered up and intense further down the road.
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