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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Silver Dirt

Payback Time

Review by Gary Hill

This is killer hard rock that’s heavily influenced by old school rock. Thing like Kiss and Uriah Heep and Aerosmith seem to be the major influences here while more modern sounds and just sort of icing on the cake. All in all, this should please fans of killer modern rock with some classic sound in the recipe.

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

Track by Track Review
The Stand

This pounds in heavy, but with some cool melody from the guitar lines. The vocals enter and the cut feels a bit like punk rock in terms of those vocals, but there’s still a bit of a heavy metal vibe to it. Overall, this is a smoking hot jam that’s quite cool. There’s a short bit later in the tune that makes me think of Kiss’ “Love Gun,” but the guitar solo section seems more like Mountain, but with a metal kick.

Spread Your Wings
Somehow, this hard rocker makes me think of Uriah Heep just a bit. It’s another cool tune that’s catchy and meaty, but still quite metallic. It’s more like a power ballad, though, alternating between mellower sounds and harder edged choruses. The guitar solo is another choice selection here.
Spinning the Wheel
There’s almost an Aerosmith vibe to this hard rocker, but perhaps merged with some Mountain. It’s another killer tune on a disc that’s full of them.
Place in the Sun
While there’s still plenty of classic rock in the mix here, this cut seems a bit more contemporary. It’s metallic, but also one of the catchiest pieces here. This disc just seems to keep getting better.
Here They Come
Okay, the riff that opens this feels so much like several other tunes that I thought this was a cover. It shifts out from there, though, into accessible modern alternative rock. In fact, this is the least retro sounding tune we’ve heard to this point. It’s a real winner.
Never Give Up
Another that feels a bit more modern, but with some retro leanings still there, this is high energy, metallic and very cool.
Beautiful Day
Here we get a power pop laden song. It’s part ballad, part rocker, but not really metal at all. Yes, there is still some retro sound here, but it’s more modern, perhaps, than a lot of the stuff on this cut. It’s also one of the best here, in part because of the change it represents.
R.I.P. (The Earth)
Here’s a more metallic cut. There’s a bit of a NWOBHM sound here, but overall it’s kind of a cross between the bluesy hard rock of the 1970s and 1980s heavy metal.
No More
Here’s another roots rocker that’s quite tasty. It’s not a big surprise, but it’s quite accessible and effective.
Mata Kuru Ze
Metallic and accessible, this is good time rock music. It’s melodic and yet crunchy and it’s very catchy. It’s another strong tune on a disc that’s packed with potent music.
Beautiful Day (Alternate Version)
This is a variant of the earlier track. If anything it’s catchier and more straight rock. The guitar soloing, though, is seriously retro and seriously cool. Generally I don’t like the idea of closing a set with an alternate take of one of the tracks from the rest of the disc. It works here because this song is incredibly strong.


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