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Fred Argir

No Pushover

Review by Gary Hill

This is the latest from Fred Argir. There is some compelling, seriously hard-edged, alternative rock on this set. Like the previous disc from him I reviewed, though, this is a case where less would be more. There just isn't enough variety here to maintain the set for this many songs. It gets to where it sounds pretty monolithic at points. Dropping three or four songs from the disc would have made it stronger. Still, for the most part, just spinning a tune or two, it works well.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Beggar's Anthem
This hard rocker has some definite grunge elements built into it. With a vocal arrangement that features a lot of nearly spoken stuff, this makes me think of both Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty at times. It's a driving rocker that makes a good opening salvo.
Not Much To Do
That Springsteen thing is still in place on this number. The tune has a gritty, punky edge. It also earns a parental advisory. It's a screamer.
Shake You
There is a slower moving, but no less rocking, sound at the heart of this. The tune oozes cool with almost metal meets psychedelia thing. It has a real psychotic element to it. It might be a  bit understated compared to the tracks that came before it, but it is a powerhouse. It's one of my favorites of the set, too.
Make Me Stupid
This is a screaming hot, hard-edged tune that is a real powerhouse.
Watching The Days Slip
The riff at the heart of this makes me think of Led Zeppelin just a bit. There is a killer rocking grind to the piece. The vocals are in keeping with the rest of the set. There is an unusual, atmospheric bit at the end of this piece.
The Wall
A straight forward rock song, based on the same musical concepts of the rest of the album is heard here. This is a solid tune, but not really a stand-out.
Try
This is a solid tune. The only issue is that by this point, it's all starting to sound the same.
What Do You Think
A bit more stripped back and percussive, this manages to stand out a little that way. This is an angry song and manages to rock pretty well.
Time Machine Without A Key
A mellower, and more balladic piece, this offers some variety. There is a bit of an awkward angle to the piece, though. It all comes together nicely as it rocks out later, though. That harder edged movement maintains the slower pace, but really cranks up the intensity. In so doing it really stands out from the rest of the music on the disc. 
Lies on the Brick Wall
A raw, grungy hard rocker, this is strong, but a bit formulaic when taken with the bulk of the disc.
Fool
While the guitar fills bring some magic to this one, the monolithic nature of the cut really keeps it from standing out.
Every Day's A Friday Night
There is a bit more of a mainstream rocking edge to this cut. Imagine Bob Dylan going grunge. The DIY edge is intact here, lending a bit of awkward charm. While this suffers a bit from the formulaic element, it's a solid tune and decent closer.
 
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