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The Big Wu

We Are Young We Are Old

Review by Gary Hill

This release features a sound that seems to have two, rather disparate, parts. First, there is the instrumental part of this. The music here has a real classic rock, jam band vibe to it. The vocals, though, bring an alternative or college rock essence. Those two things combine to create an intriguing and unique sound.

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
Young Pioneer
This powers in with a cool rocking mode. The vocals bring a bit of a college rock or alternative rock vibe. The instrumental presence here is more classic rock oriented. There are hints of country music built into this, too. The organ sound later lends a real retro texture. I did the melodic guitar soloing, too.
Kick In The Head

There is more of a hard rocking element here. This is more firmly set in that alternative rock zone. The guitar fills on this are all class. The instrumental section later brings some jazzy blues rock to the table. There are also some hints of progressive rock at times on this thing. Some of the guitar fills on the closing movement make me think of Jerry Garcia.

Ready To Burn
Screaming hot guitar brings this into being. It is fast paced and furious. The vocals bring more of that alternative rock thing, but the music isn't far removed from something like Motorhead.
How The West Was Won
This alternative rocker is a classy tune. It has some jam band tendencies built into it, too. It's not a big change from the things that have come before, but is quite effective.
Ghost Birds
With some reggae in the mix, there is a definite Grateful Dead vibe to this in a lot of ways. Alternative rock is at the core of this song, too. There is a tasteful weirdness to it. I'm reminded of Jerry Garcia by some of the guitar work on this piece.
Bound For The South

This slow moving number has a lot of Southern accents. It's very much country music based. Still, the alternative rock things are still on display at the core of the piece.

Jackson County
Country rock and some folk rock are both built into this mix on this cut. It makes me think of bands like Cracker just a bit. There are lot of 1970s soft rock links built into this piece, too. It even turns a little proggy in a jam later.
Runner With Energy
The opening movement here is heavy and hard rocking. They turn things out to a mellower, Grateful Dead influenced jam mid-track, though.
We Are Trees
A hard rocking, alternative tune, I really dig the guitar sound on this. It's not a huge change, but it works well. The soaring jam later in the track is a real powerhouse.
 
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