Fireworks

CD Reviews

Stray Train - 'Just 'Cause You Got The Monkey Of Your Back Doesn't Mean The Circus Has Left Town' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/1a/30/3d/Stray-Train-Just-cause-You-Got-The-Monkey-Off-Your-Back-Doesnu2019t-Mean-The-Circus-Has-Left-Town-73-1520887852.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 12, 2018    
 
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2016's main competitor for "Longest Album Title Of The Year".

2016's main competitor for "Longest Album Title Of The Year"* opens with 'Soulseller', a track which sets precedent for the eight other tracks that follow. After a flurry of a drum intro, the opener sets into a loose Sleaze-shuffle, giving subtle nods to Wolfmother among others. Double tracked vocals thicken the sound and the overall feel is raw and raunchy; the Blues harp solo is executed brilliantly in place of an expected guitar solo. Catchy, simplistic and definitely an earworm.

Throughout the course of the album, the vocals are delivered as a mix of Chris Cornell, Myles Kennedy and Layne Staley, with a range to match. Under-harmonies weave below other vocal lines grabbing the listener's ear with a persuasive curiosity. Guitars are subtly overdriven and well presented. Drums and bass anchor everything with a crisp tightness which lock in the groove and power in spades.

The central guitar break in 'Green Card Paradise' definitely pays tribute to Holy Diver (Dio), rhythmically heavy and laced with an obligatory cocked wah guitar tone, but the comparison to Classic Rock ends there. Following track 'Blow' leans heavily to Audioslave-style groove before setting off on a trip to Slash's Snakepit.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Plastic Princess' is underpinned with a dirty organ which just does enough to compete with more Staley-esque vocals. An understated guitar solo fills a gap which shouldn't really be there amid clichéd subject matter crying out for a chorus to end on.

'Man Or Stone' begins winding down the album with some heart-felt guitar work but the feeling of restraint that plagues this album could have (and quite possibly should have) been cast aside here if anywhere.

Nowhere is the band's influences more evident than in the standout closer 'Can't Buy Happiness... (Not Even In December' – a completely darker affair than the rest of the album, perfectly homing in on the Alice In Chains sound and delivery. The vocal harmonies are sinister and intentful, meandering effortlessly through octaves, before a blistering guitar solo comes close to stealing the show. If only the full album was this purposeful, Stray Train could be on the rails to greatness.

Lara Kisel

(* this review is from Fireworks #76)

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