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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Straight Shooter

Flyin' Straight / Rough 'n Tough

Review by Gary Hill

This is a band that really isn't all that good a fit under progressive rock. That said, there are some songs that definitely do land there, and I put their other disc I reviewed under that heading, so I'm doing the same with this one. Like that other one, this is a CD release of two of their albums, on one disc.  The two albums were originally released in 1981 and 1982 respectively.

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Track by Track Review
Flyin' Straight
Straight Fighting Man

Keyboards start things with style as this gets going. It launches out into a driving AOR rocker from there. The instrumental section on this definitely brings some prog to bear, even if it's of the more arena based type.

Live Date
I love the driving proggy groove of this cut. Again, this is on the pop rock side of the proggy equation, but there is definitely a prog angle at play here.
Look at the Inside
The classic "spooky" organ music starts things here. That holds it for a time, but eventually the band drive in with a jam that has a real NWOBHM vibe to it. There is a punky angle here, as well, yet there are also some space rocking things brought by the keyboards.
Helpin' Hands
While the most explicit prog on this number is on the introduction, this has more prog in its AOR main song structure than a lot of the rest of the music here does. For some reason this makes me think of Blue Oyster Cult to some degree.
Nobody There
Now, this seems to channel AC/DC. It's not really proggy at all, but it is a solid hard rocker.
All Time Runner
Driving proggy stuff is in the menu here. This is high energy and classy. The break brings some more quirky prog to it at first, but then it explodes into a more mainstream hard rock guitar solo. The keyboard soloing that follows restores some of that proggy angle.
Stop Talkin'
We get much more powerhouse hard rocking sound on this. The cut doesn't have a lot of prog in the mix. That said, the instrumental section definitely brings some prog to bear when the keyboards are in command. The guitar solo portions are more pure hard rocking, though. The bass on this is pronounced and very cool.
More straight-ahead rocker, this is a fun and energetic tune.
Rough 'n Tough
Frame of Mind

There is a real, dramatic, proggy new wave sound at play. This is very arsty, but also rocking in a somewhat subdued way.

High Speed Lover
This is a fast-paced (has to be with that title, right?) and near metal.
Straight Movin'
Another with plenty of metal edge built into it. The keyboard driven instrumental section takes it toward prog.
Dealer Stealer
Intricate mellow guitar brings this track into being. Keyboards come over the top, creating a decidedly proggy arrangement. The tune powers out from there into some harder edged jamming. The keyboard work over the top at times brings more prog angles.
I'm the Midnight Rider
This comes in with a dense keyboard arrangement. It eventually drives out into more of a hard rocking jam from there. There is some scorching hot guitar soloing on the instrumental section to this piece.
Moving Outside - Moving Inside
Keyboards get things underway on this tune. The track works out to an AOR rocking jam from there. The cut is insistent, but also artistic and very classy. I'm reminded to a good degree of Hawkwind.
Rescue Me
This is much more a basic hard rocker. It doesn't really have a lot of prog in the mix.
Hold Your Head Up
Much more of a metal screamer, again, the prog is largely missing here. It's a killer tune, though, with some great riffs and hooks.
Set Me Free
This a very straightforward rocker on the one hand. Some of the more dropped back parts do bring some proggy angles, though. I dig the keyboard textures, and this has some intriguing vocal concepts.
Straight Waves
A bouncy tune, this has some hints of reggae along with plenty of prog rock. This instrumental is an intriguing closer.
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