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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Ivan Beecroft

The Cynical Express

Review by Gary Hill

I've reviewed a couple other releases from Ivan Beecroft. Like those, this new set is a bit rough around the edges at times, but also quite effective. If you, like me, dislike music that's overly polished to the point of losing character, you might find this to your liking. The vocals remind me of Everlast, and the music has a lot of hard rock that leans toward psychedelia, metal, alternative rock and more.

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Track by Track Review
Rattle Those Chains
Coming in with some cool edgy guitar sounds, this works out to a classy rock mode. Combining modern alternative rock with some psychedelia and even some 60s pop rock hooks, this is a fun tune. It's also a strong opener.
Four Walls
There is a driving kind of almost metal sound to this number. It has a bit more of a punk vibe to it than the opener did. I can definitely hear some Guns N' Roses on this thing, but not a lot.
Psycho Woman
I dig the blues guitar riff driving this. There is an Allman Brothers meets hard-edged alternative rock sound here. This is classy and has some cool slide guitar.
The Iceman
There is a bit of Who edge to this rocker. Add in modern alternative rocking sound, a punky edge and you are on the right track. There is a weird transition early on that feels like two pieces that don't fit together were cut-and-pasted into one another. It might be a corrupt file that I've got, though. The time counter runs consecutively when it happens, making me think that it's intentional. If so, I'd consider it a mistake because it is a very intrusive bit.
The Deplorables
This rocking groove is solid. It's just a bit samey as the formula is wearing a bit thin.
Silver Spoon
I dig the hard rock sound that opens this. The cut works out to a fairly standard rocker. While it's still not much of a change, this one fares better than the previous track did.
I love this tune. It's a hard rocker that has plenty of psychedelia, metal and punk built into it. It's a killer rocker with some intriguing angles and textures to it.
The Candyman
This has a bit stripped back sound. It has a real grunge  kind of edge to it. It fires up after the verse into more of a psychedelically edged number.
Another cut that suffers a bit from sameness, this does have a nice metallic punk edge to it.
I love the driving bass line that starts this. It gives way to a jam that seems to combine modern hard rock with some hints of the music of Tommy James. This drops back down mid-track to just the bass to restart the piece. The metallic guitar solo section is meaty. The tune is edgy and catchy. It's classy and cool. It's one of the strongest numbers of the set, making it a great choice for closer.


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