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Sundogs

The Code

Review by Gary Hill

I've previously reviewed another set from this set. I remarked in that review that there were definite hints of Steely Dan. I can make that out here, along with a lot of other things, too. This leans toward jazz and prog at times. All in all, it's a considerably effective release and a great addition to the band's catalog.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
I Want It Now
Coming in with a powerhouse rocking sound, this has a healthy helping of Southern rock like the Allman Brothers built into it. This is a short piece that has some killer guitar fills and a fairly catchy hook. It's energetic and a solid opener.
Mystery Car
Some jazz stylings, with plenty of blues, come to bear on this number. The tune has a great groove, working really well. I love the bass work on this thing.
Comin' Back Home
Those Southern rock things are back here. That's particularly true of the guitar fills. The piano brings some definite jazz. This is a piece that comes across as proggy, but on the mainstream side of the equation. Comparisons to something like Little Feat would be warranted.
Pick It Up
The jazzy stylings on this make me think of a proggier Steely Dan to some degree. I dig the instrumental work on this a lot, particularly when they take things into some exploratory proggy jamming.
In The Night Of The Light
I dig the mix of jazz and rock on this piece a lot. This has some killer hooks, and the guitar work dancing over the tapestry is so strong. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this cut might be the guitar showcase of the whole disc. The balance between mellower and more rocking sounds on the piece is so classy, as well.
Ride
Coming in with a lot more jazz built into it, this grows out as fun groove. This is another solid tune, but not any kind of surprise.
Hard Life
More of a mainstream rocking number, this still has some of the jazz built into it. It's again, not a huge change, but it works well.
Jennifer
Now, the jazz is the real driving element here. I really dig the classy, bluesy guitar soloing on the tune.
The Code
The title track has plenty of proggy elements. It really lands in the zone of progressive rock overall. Sure this is modern, more AOR prog, but it's prog nonetheless. It's also one of the highlights here.
Freedom
The cool rocking groove that leads this thing out is on fire. It's packed full of vintage cool. The track works to a fast paced, proggy jam from there. This is my favorite piece on the disc. It's just so tasty.
Angus
Another with plenty of proggy elements in the mix, this is classy stuff. It's another highlight.
Balloon
This has a lot of psychedelia in the mix. It's sort of an alternative pop rock styled number. It's bouncy and fun. I dig the proggy stuff that makes up the late song instrumental break, too.
 
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