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Fred Argir

Still Alive

Review by Gary Hill

It seems there is a whole school of alternative rock like this. It's the kind of music that's essentially based around singer/songwriter rock songs, but informed by a punk rock rawness and distorted edge. It always works pretty well, and this is no exception. My only complaint here is that this might be a better release if it were two or three songs shorter as there are times when the formula is stretched a bit thin. Still, it's only a minor issue, and this is a very solid effort.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The World Isn’t Round
While at its heart this is a mainstream rocker, there is a cool punk edge driving it that's powerful. The drums are very busy on this cut, and the whole thing has a cool raw texture.
I Don’t Feel It

I dig the insistent guitar line that plays throughout the piece. There is more of that punky edge here, but I can make out hints of metal, too. Overall this is a smoking hot alternative rocker with hints of psychedelia in the mix.

Catch You When You Fall
This is another that has a lot of mainstream rocker built into it. The distorted guitar sound brings a punk rawness that works well. This is a powerful song that's among the best here. It really rocks and has so much class.
The Meditation Song
A slower moving cut, this has some psychedelia and stoner rock merged with the usual culprits. It's a good bit of variety, but not one of my favorite tunes here.
Krishna is Crying
I love the guitar solo section on this cut, but beyond that the number doesn't work as well for me as some of the rest do. It has a solid punk edge to it. It's just not as effective as the rest.
Too Tired to Fight
I love the driving texture that start this cut. The stripped back rock and roll meets punk edge here is classy. The guitar solo is particularly tasty.
Preachers in the Square
There is no big change here. Instead we get a cut that's more of the same. It's not bad, but feels a bit too monolithic in context.
Still Alive
Fuzz drenched, I dig this cut quite a bit. It's a solid number, but it also suffers a bit from the sameness by this point.
Asylum of the Human Resistance
While there are no huge differences, the overall texture and flavor seems a bit different here. This is another strong cut. I dig the guitar solo and the way it feels like it's exploring the musical landscape.
The End
The powerful opening segment here is so classy. The track drops back to mellower textures to carry forward, but still has plenty of hard rocking sound in the mix. This is powerful and evocative and one of the highlights of the set. The guitar solo section is among the best of the whole disc, too.
Burn the Bridges Down
The riff that starts that has a bit more of a retro rock vibe to it. The song makes me think of a cross between Tom Petty and Neil Young to me. This earns a definite parental advisory. It brings some variety to the proceedings, too. This has a cool false ending followed by a reprise jam that even makes me think of The Allman Brothers just a little.
Everybody Should Know
More of a melodic, mainstream rocker, this is solid, but feels a bit like an "also-ran."
Days Keep Turning
There is a dense, rich arrangement on this. The vocal performance has more of a stream of consciousness feeling to it, lending some real variety. This is one of the highlights of the set, in part because its cool arrangement varies so much from the rest of the stuff here.
Two Moons
This instrumental piece has some cool textures. It is a tasty sonic tapestry that features intriguing guitar sounds and almost space rock elements. At times I'm reminded just a bit of Pink Floyd here. If the rest of the disc were more like this it could land under progressive rock, really.

 

 
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