Fireworks

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This is so real we can see the cracks.

This is a somnambulent Soundtrack Of Our Lives. This album is rich and full, according to the publicity. Actually, it's downbeat and samey. The brainchild of Jeff Stetson, who has some Seattle pedigree, this third album, aiming to ape the previous high iTunes rock placing, just ensures boredom.

‘For King And Country’ starts out snarling with bratty bravado, then becomes concerned in the middle that we see its softer side, complaining with a thin, reedy solo and is rather successful; as is the spacy ‘Christmas Song’ up to a point, the slow burning coolness becoming a little laboured, with even the tune realising it and scratching out an intricate, bone-jarring solo.

But we have, really, too many songs that leave no impression, just turning up wanting badly to tell you something but then recounting a tale you've heard before, quickly running out of energy and tailing off. There is some driving riffing, there is some attempt at atmospherically probing, slow beats, there is even some simple piano, but too little.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Of course, ‘Huguette Butte America’ bucks that trend, grabbing some white boy reggae and a whirling carnival organ, even opening up to an airy 311 vibe but disturbing a clever doubled vocal line with rough riffing – it succeeds purely because it tries something new. And ‘From The Beginning’ does that in excelsis; it's a waltz, and organic folky feel, very like those Soundtrack fellas and with the gentleness they beautifully conveyed, allied to a genuinely odd, waxing and waning heart which impertinently grooves late on.

But this is not a good strike ratio from 11 tracks. They use analog tape and live takes without tricks, apparently to keep it real. This is so real we can see the cracks. Rather than spending 54 takes to get it right, perhaps better to use that time writing memorable songs. Then we won't really mind how it's recorded. Soundtrack Of Our Lives certainly knew that.

Steve Swift

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  • Berny : @SoCal Rocker: Welcome back! There are 50 free issues of Fireworks Magazine for you (and of course all other Rocktopians) to download. Check out the news on the frontpage. Stay happy, safe & healthy. Best wishes to California!

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