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The fundaMentals

American Idle, Vol. 1

Review by Gary Hill

I reviewed a set from these guys before and felt that it was a bit rough around the edges. I don't really get that vibe from this. The set feels a lot like something that the band DOA might do. I love that band, so this works really well for me, too. There is a great blending of punk rock with general hard rock, psychedelia, garage band and more. This never feels redundant or tired and really manages to rock from start to finish.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Dead City Blues
Blues rock with a bit of a Dead Boys meets AC/DC edge to it opens this cut. The number works out as a slow moving rocker. It gets a parental advisory on the lyrics. This has a definite DOA kind of vibe to it, too. It's a killer cut and has some expressive guitar work. It's also an excellent way to open the set in style.
Where the Sun Don't Shine

While this is more of a pure punk rocker, it still has plenty of mainstream hard rock in the mix. It is both meaty and catchy and really works well. I suppose the comparisons to both AC/DC and DOA still apply on this number. The extended guitar solo section is classy, too.

It Ain't Pretty (Bein' Easy)
This slower moving cut has a lot of psychedelia built into it. While I wouldn't call it a ballad, it is mellower than the first couple songs. It really makes me think of DOA a lot. I really love the guitar soloing and extended instrumental section later in the number.
Crooked Like Chicago
More of a straight-ahead hard rocking sound is on display here. This still has some of that punky edge, and definitely calls to mind DOA, though. It's another flavor of the kind of sound we've gotten accustomed to here. It's also another cool tune.
We Has Seen the Enemy

Harder rocking and more purely punky, this is another powerhouse. While it's not a big change, it's quite effective.

Dropping Bombs on Babylon
The closer is another hard rocking number. It's packed with classic rock sounds, punk and psychedelia. It's also catchy and meaty.
 
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