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Non-Prog CD Reviews



Review by Gary Hill

The easiest description here would be "hard-edged rock music." That really isn't all that descriptive, though. These guys take a lot of bluesy old school hard rock and make that the core of their sound. They add in plenty of heavy metal and more to turn this into something that is both familiar and fresh. There is not a weak song on this disc. It is a great ride for fans of classic sounding hard rocking music.

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Track by Track Review
Liar (Fool's Gold)
I love the wall of voices acapella approach that opens this. They take it out into some hard rocking music from there. It drops back to mellower stuff for the first verse. It powers back up for the chorus. This is a meaty number that has a real classic, near metal, element to it. The guitar solo is both tasty and tasteful. This is such a great piece of music.
Little Jenny
Not a  huge change from this previous number, this is another killer slab of hard rocking music that's informed by both classic rock and heavy metal. It has a nice balance between mellower and more rocking stuff.
A bit more of a modern alternative rock edge is heard on this. I love the heavy crunch of the tune. It's another killer rocker. There are definitely punky, power pop styled edges to this one.
The riff that opens this is particularly effective. The cut is another classy hard rocker. Somehow it's just stronger than the previous numbers. There is quite a bit of old school metal here, but the dropped back balladic approach lends more mainstream rock to it.
Into The Sun
This is such an intriguing cut. It has some of the most decidedly metallic moments to this point. Yet there are pop rock and other sounds that balance it out. The lyrical tale is very interesting, too. This is just another great tune on a disc that's full of exceptional music.
Painted Lady
Even more metallic, this has a cool start and stop element. It also has some tasty riffs, unusual changes and a meaty guitar solo. 
There is a definite hair metal vibe to this cut. It's a mean one that manages to be catchy, too.
Man of Clay
Based on more of a balladic approach, this cut has a lot of acoustic guitar built into it. It has an alternative rock vibe, but also some hints of jazz at times. It's a nice change of pace.
I'm With You
We're back into metallic territory with this stomper. It has some great vocal hooks and killer guitar riffs. It's a real powerhouse.  I love the closing crescendo.
On the Brink
The riff that starts this feels like something Led Zeppelin might have done. The cut gets more of a metal edge from there, though. This is another killer rocker at the start. They do a great job of balancing that with mellower stuff on the dropped back movements. There is some intricate acoustic guitar work and classy electric soloing, too.
King Rat
This is less metallic and more bluesy rocker. It features some killer piano soloing. There are some almost Beatles-like hooks at times on the number, too. This is another that brings some variety to the table.
This might be the best cut here. It has a real metal vibe to it. Yet, strings and the general arrangement put it more in the epic metal vein. This is such a great way to end the album.
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