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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Tyson Leslie

Train Wrecks, Havoc & Heartbreak

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite cool album. It really runs a gamut of sounds from start to finish. There are classic rock elements, country elements, modern sounds, retro sounds and more. Yet, it all works quite well. This is the kind of set that should appeal to a wide range of listeners, really.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Little Green Honda

Opening with the sounds of a car refusing to start, this is a catchy and fun power pop rocker. It’s just great stuff. The instrumental section mid-track brings some progressive rock to the table. It also has some guitar sounds that make me think of Queen.

She Danced under Lights
The powerpop sound gets merged with some country on this number. It’s high energy and quite accessible. The lyrics earn a parental advisory. The guitar solo is very meaty on this number.
Crazy All Over
Modern pop rock is the order of business here. It’s almost a duet with a prominent female vocal added to the mix.
Selective Amnesia
Here we get more of a straightahead country rocker. The country guitar solo is great.       
A Mourning to Lament
This is a great change. It’s more of a modern melodic rocker with hints of progressive rock and AOR. It’s quite a powerful piece of music. It’s not as instantly accessible as some of the rest, but it’s just so tasty. 
Goodbye to the Rain
Starting with piano, this is essentially a ballad. It reminds me of an old pop song from the 1960s in terms of the main melody. The arrangement on this gets quite lush at times.
Suckerfish
A country styled rocker, this has some female vocals in one section. It’s also got a smoking hot, harder rocking movement later.
Stranger
This bouncy pop rocker has some country in the mix. It’s catchy, but not really one of the highlights of the set. It definitely feels like it could have come out of the 1970s.
Wasted Time
An accessible rocker, this is very much a power pop piece. It’s a lot of fun.
If He Comes Home
This is a melodic rocker. It’s not quite a ballad, but it’s not far from it. It’s also one of the most “different” tunes here. It’s one of the best. The sound is definitely more modern, but it has plenty of classic elements.
Blanket for Your Soul
More a balladic number, this seems to have equal parts of country, rock and soul music. It’s a classic sounding piece. I love the retro sounding guitar solo and the organ. There’s kind of an Allman Brothers vibe to this.
Under the Gun
In some ways, this catchy rocker feels a bit like Sweet and The Beatles. There is a bit of a country edge to this, though. Either way, it’s a great tune.
88 Mph
This is a catchy power pop styled rocker. It’s fun, but not really a standout. It does get a parental advisory. The guitar solo on this has a real guitar god vibe.
The Last Words
A mellow song, this is a pretty bit of psychedelic balladry. It’s a lot like The Beatles.
 
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