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Susan Aquila - 'Miss Conduct' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/bc/29/a3/susan-aquila-miss-conduct-72-1472753306.jpg Hot

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Listen with an open mind and Susan Aquila will soon get under your skin.

Whilst the name may not be familiar, New York-based artist Susan Aquila is actually a Broadway star and has also performed with the likes of Deep Purple, Steven Tyler and Roger Daltrey. Here, on Aquila's second album, she combines a diverse, almost Symphonic musical arrangement overlaid on to a Heavy Rock backbone with stunning vocal work, harmonies, thoughtful lyrical content and violin (yes, violin!).

'Dirty Delicious' sets the stage with a heavy rhythm and a voice that is reminiscent of Doro Pesch. Turning from pussycat to tiger in the blink of an eye – this girl bites! We are also treated to the first electric violin solo here which sits really well in the mix and certainly adds something special. 'Miss Conduct' continues the aural assault with its fast-paced attack of guitar, violin breaks and a vocal delivery which is approaching light speed in places.

'Twisted' has a style and delivery that could so easily have been lifted straight from Wendy James' Transvision Vamp era. Aquila's sexy Punky vocal weaves its web and captivates the listener with its Metal-tinged Rock 'n' Roll. 'Lightnin'' and 'Why' again illustrate how Aquila can move smoothly from soulful and passionate to an anger-filled, growling delivery. Rob Tomaro, meanwhile, lays down an iron clad set of power chords on these tracks and the violin work accomplished by Aquila is simply stunning.

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Atmospheric sound effects and the dark riff of 'The Wall' combine with intricate violin parts and some heartfelt singing which all adds up to an epic track and leaves you wondering whether you've been kicked in the teeth or kissed all over! 'Sooper Gurl', on the other hand, sounds like the result of Punk going to the movies – but it works! A well-constructed commercial hook sandwiched between good narrative verses and slightly quirky musical timing ensures this is ear-worm territory.

Susan Aquila and her Flying V-shaped violin have ventured into a genre that is perhaps staid in its ways and has brought something fresh to the table. Her sultry, husky vocal talents are undeniable and the violin adds another facet to what is a captivating, energetic, if heavy sounding album. Listen with an open mind and Susan Aquila will soon get under your skin and may even convince you that distorted electric violin is the future of Metal!

Paul Sabin

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