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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Thomas Charlie Pedersen

Second Hand War

Review by Gary Hill

This is a solo album from one of the guys from the band Vinyl Floor (a group I reviewed before). This has a real folk/roots music vibe to it. It's not a perfect album, but it's actually quite strong. I would say the biggest misstep here is in terms of song order. The first song on the set is actually the one that is least effective. This would be stronger with that one either removed or placed somewhere in the middle.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
High Dust Devils

Harmonica, acoustic guitar and voice are the elements at play here. This is very much a folk song. Yet, there are hints of British Invasion sound to it in some ways. Parts of this gel extremely well, while other sections feel a bit on the awkward side.

Appreciation Hymn
There's no harmonica on this song. The guitar is played in an intricate, picked style. This is much more of a pure folk song. It's also much more effective than the opener was.
Letter From The Dead
The arrangement here is strictly piano and vocals. This is one of the stronger songs of the set, too. It makes me think of a cross between The Beatles and Queen to a large degree. 
I For One
I think the main instrument on this is a ukelele. Somehow this makes me think of Queen a bit, too. Some of the  layers over the top of this piece bring some prog rock elements to bear. This is one of the more complex pieces here. 
Second Hand War
The title track is a short and intriguing roots music instrumental. 
Uneasy Feeling
Here we have another piano and voice driven number. It's also  another that makes me think of Queen for some reason. 
Sycamore Street
Here's another piano and vocal based number. This one, though, feels more classic in tone (with a bit on an alternative rock edge) than it is Queen-like. It's an intriguing song, but a bit slow and long for my tastes. 
For You
For some reason the guitar on this makes me think of "Blackbird" by the Beatles. The song is more of a folk rock number than it is anything else. 
Axe to Grind
This is another short instrumental piece. It's just acoustic guitar. It feels like folk traveling music to me. 
The Harder The Fall
Here is another piano ballad. This is an old world styled cut that works quite well.
Golden Age
The instrument that opens this, and remains as icing on the cake, sounds like harp. This is a piece that combine psychedelia with folk and even some prog elements. It's one of the coolest tunes here, too. 
Kill With Kindness
Intricate acoustic guitar creates the musical backdrop here. This is a tune that's part folk music and part rock. Some other sounds are added to the mix later for a nice effect. This does seem to overstay its welcome a bit, but it is one of the more effective pieces here. 
As of Lately
I would call this an instrumental, but it does have voices. There is some humming on the tune. It's actually one of the most unique things here. It's quite proggy, really. 
Good Ride
This is a roots music based piece that's more of a modern pop rock song. It's acoustic and stripped back. It's rather fun and a good closer.
 
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