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The Mascot Theory

Every Sign of Life

Review by Gary Hill

This album is a classic example of less being more. There is not a weak song on the disc. Some are really exceptional. The problem is, there is just too much music here, and not enough variety. It tends to get a little samey before it's all over. If they had pulled maybe four songs and held them for a later release, this would be stronger as a whole. Then again, so many people these days listen to just a song or two at a time from an artist, rather than a whole album, so perhaps that's only so important.

The music here often has a bluesy rock vibe. There are definitely singer songwriter and other mainstream rock things at play. The lead vocals sound like Neil Diamond with a bit of a twang added in a lot of the time. While nothing here is particularly unique or original, it's done really well. The only issue is that monolithic element that haunts a lot of it.

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Track by Track Review
Piece by Piece by Peace
There is a grungy, punk groove to this musically. The vocals bring a bit of a country twang.
This is intriguing. It has an extended introduction that has a lot of atmospherics and proggy tendencies. It works out to some more driving, rocking sounds as it continues. This is classy stuff.
Lavender Blues
I really love the guitar solo on this track. The whole number is a smoking hot, driving hard rocker with a ton of style. That solo, though, is absolutely incendiary. This is one of my favorite pieces here.
The Wrong Side
There is a lot more mainstream rock sound here. This has a powered up singer songwriter vibe in a lot of ways. I like this, but it's a bit of a let down after the powerhouse that preceded it.
Shy Ones
This isn't a huge change from the last one. I do like some of the riffs and hooks a little more, though.
End of the Line
The guitar soloing on this is great, bringing almost a punky edge. Beyond that, the track is a pretty standard bluesy rocker. The guitar is the magic that makes it work.
Sliver of a Maybe
This is another track that is elevated by scorching guitar work. It's on fire.
I Need You
A little less driving and more mainstream, this is a solid pop rocker. It's not really anything that stands taller than the rest here, but it works.
Fast Car Getaway
The singer songwriter meets driving rocker concept is at play here. I really like this one a lot. It just works particularly well. The chorus hooks are so catchy, too.
Goodbye I Wish You Well
This really has that singer songwriter vibe at its heart, too. It's another standout tune. It just resonates. The guitar solo isn't flashy, but it's really tasty. 
Coming Home
Harmonica is a nice touch on this tune. The vocal hooks are solid. The track works well, but does suffer a bit from being too samey. I do like some of the guitar work later quite a bit.
Stone Cold
This rocker is energetic and catchy. It's another solid rocker.
Blowing Smoke Signals
I dig the blues rocking vibe on this. The guitar sound is great, and the whole song is strong. The extended instrumental section late really rocks.
When I Drift Away
This song works well enough. The problem is, by this point the formula is really wearing thin. This kind of driving Southern rock just doesn't manage to stand above the rest.
Best is Yet to Come
To me, this cut is the one that really gets the brunt of the effect of this album being too long. If they cut this down a bit, this would be one of the strongest tunes here. As it is, it just comes too late among a lot of music that's too similar to really stand out.

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