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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Western Aerial

High Rollin' EP

Review by Larry Toering

This is a hot band out of the northwest with quite a few releases to date, of which this is their latest. They're a pure rock 'n roll outfit with tons of high energy to spare. After building a  national reputation they more recently acquired drummer Kevin Rankin before releasing this EP, and he's a well known professional who plays with many artists including globally well known ones. They have a greatly received catalog to date and I'm not sure what their future holds, but this CD is just as worthy any of it. Make no mistake, this is not of the pedestrian standard, as it holds high marks with me. They're a smokin' hot live band as well. For evidence of that, see the concert review I did in this issue of Music Street Journal. It's amazing how much talent is hanging around this area that has been getting both local and national attention, but this is one of the top of the heap concerning straightforward rock. They retain everything here for which they are well known, including great production values which go the distance in keeping them currently up to date with other acts of this high caliber. Released in 2011, this is still remains as fresh and exciting as the day it came out. And that is always a mark of any great product, as  I find this to be.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Rollin'

This is fantastic, a well written track with a lot of moxy. And although I haven't heard everything this band has to offer material wise, I can say it makes a great live number that stands up with the rest of their set list, as well. Killer hooks and grooves at every turn make this simply hard to deny in every way. It has a great riff and a pounding rhythm section that steer it all the way home for a generally a grand delivery.

High Life

With a nice piano factor running through it, and a lighter more pop sort of approach (contrasting with the previous number), this is awesome indeed. I love the vocals here too, as the melody serves up a great vibe I wasn't expecting.

Stripperland
How can Portland night life be described without thinking about its strip joint appeal? After all, Portland is one of the more well known towns for that, and they don't miss a thing in getting to the point here in the process. This rocks it back up a notch, more in line with the opening track.
 
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