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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Energy

When We Were Young

Review by Gary Hill

This hard rocking set is very effective. It’s set more or less in the vein of alternative rock, but on the other hand there are some seriously retro sounding riffs serving as the basis for some of the songs. Beyond that, it works into more pure pop rock at times. There is even a journey into hip hop. The only thing I might have changed about this set is moving some of the songs around in sequence. Beyond that, this is a particularly effective set, really.

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Track by Track Review
Losing Myself

Smoking hot modern riff driven rock, this is classy stuff. The verses are meaty and edgy, while the choruses are catchy, pop laden material.

You Can Follow
Another that’s set in a great riff based hard rock sound, this doesn’t get so pop oriented on the choruses. It’s almost psychedelic rock at times and also lands along the lines of metal at times. The guitar solo brings that metallic element to the forefront for sure. In a lot of ways this feels a bit like something King’s X might do.
When We Were Young
The title track is more of a melodic rocker. It’s classy stuff. It’s not mellow enough to be called a ballad, but it’s a lot less ferocious than the two openers. Again this makes me think of King’s X quite a bit.
Return To You
Now, here we get the ballad, but it’s a power ballad for sure. It comes in mellow, but gets some serious crunch added to the mix after the first verse. It’s a cool rocker that feels modern but also tied to the power ballads of the 1970s. There is even a bit of country pop vibe to this piece.
Another classy hard rocker, this one works out toward jam band and even prog rock territory on the mid-track instrumental section. It’s a high energy tune that’s really catchy.
Don’t Come Around
I love this song. It has a real classic rock vibe to it. It’s energetic, but still melodic enough to avoid being considered a full on stomper. This might be my favorite cut here.
California Sun
This is another riff driven rocker. It’s classy stuff for sure. The riff is great, but the whole song built around it manages to elevate the sound further. It’s modern, by there are classic bits of psychedelia and heavy metal in the mix here.
American Disaster
This comes in with a real metal texture. It works out toward more modern pop metal as it continues, though. There is a melodic mainstream rock section, and the guitar solo reinforces that element. Yet, there is a bit of an emo vibe here, too.
The Constant (ft. G4SHI)
Another hard rocker with catchy hooks, this has a rap mid-track.
Little Man (Dax’s Song)
Here we get an acoustic guitar based ballad to close the set. It’s a nice cut. It’s also a good change. I’m just not sure that it was the best choice for a final song. Perhaps putting this and the previous tune (as the two most “different” pieces) at points earlier in the album would have made for a more effective set overall.
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