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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Jack Russell's Great White

Once Bitten Acoustic Bytes

Review by Gary Hill

Let's make this clear right at the start, this album is not heavy metal, really. After all, it's an acoustic guitar based set. However, Great White was part of the 80s metal movement, so it fits under heavy metal. This is Jack Russell's edition of the band, but you probably gathered that from their name, right? I had always somewhat written this act off as uninteresting because I largely disregarded the 80s metal genre in general. Well, this album has me rethinking that. This is a great set of acoustic rockers delivered with a lot of style.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.


Track by Track Review
Lady Redlight
Fast paced acoustic guitar opens this. The cut shifts from there to a power-chord approach that translates well to an acoustic guitar arrangement. The vocals join and the cut is off with style and power. I really love the powerhouse guitar solo on this.
Gonna Getcha
Who says you can't play metal on acoustic guitars? This thing rocks like crazy. It has some blues rock, ala AC/DC in the mix. It also has some catchy hooks.
Rock Me
While the basic concept isn't changed from the previous tune, this has more of a contrast from mellower to more rocking. It also has a lot of real magic and style to it, raising the bar. I loved the original version of this tune, and it works quite well in this format, too.
All Over Now
In another fine example of how a metal rocker can be turned into an acoustic rocker, this is very classy. It's fast paced and tasty. The instrumental section is so potent and effective.
Mistreater
Starting with a bluesy sort of bit, this evolves into a killer jam from there. This isn't a big change, but it works well.
Never Change Heart
The hooks on this are strong, both in the vocal and guitar department. This is one of the strongest tunes here.
Fast Road
As you might expect, this is a fast paced rocker. The guitar fills are so cool, and this is another highlight. It is on fire.
Livin' on the Edge
Not a big change, this is none-the-less very effective. There is one instrumental progression that calls to mind James Bond music to me. The whole tune rocks with style. The guitar solo section is perhaps a bit less effective than the rest, though.
Save Your Love
I love the intricate and evocative opening movement of this cut. It is so potent. The whole tune works really well.
Babe (I'm Gonna Leave You)
Here we get a version of the classic Led Zeppelin tune. I'm usually an advocate of making a song your own if you are going to cover it. This rendition is actually pretty close to the original, but it's so well done that it works. Russell's vocals are so strong, and the whole instrumental arrangement drives it with a lot of style.
 
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