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| 21 August 2015 | Reply

August 2015
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
9 /10

Jac Dalton - Powderkeg cover

Expat American Jac Dalton brought his country rock roots all the way from the Carolinas to South Australia a few years ago, and was teamed up with West Aussie guitar shaman Graham Greene by astute musical matchmaker Nana Mex – the result was 2010’s excellent Icarus album.

Fast forward a handful of years and they’ve again managed to overcome the tyranny of distance to convene the six-piece and record the even better Powderkeg.

And I can tell you folks, what we’ve got here is a masterclass in melodic hard rock.

Dalton is a velvet-lunged powerhouse of a singer, with a clean tone and range that cannot fail to impress.

Greene’s credentials precede him so much they are almost redundant: ‘The Satriani of the South’, guitar shaman, maestro and many more titles have been applied to him. Much more than just a local legend, he has an international presence.

As if one outstanding guitarist wasn’t enough, there’s also Ammemieke Heijne, a player of such dextrous feel that she is capable of entrancing fans at gigs like a snake charmer.

Troy Brazier and Jim Awram’s rhythm section never miss a trick – never have – and Darren Mullan’s keys are there to enhance the show every step of the way, but it’s his production which really shines. Not that a secret weapon is needed in such esteemed company, but if it was, it would be Donna Greene – wife to Graham, and the backing vocalist with the mostest.

There’s a cover version of Aerosmith’s Sweet Emotion on Powderkeg which is pretty damn fine. It rocks hard without rewriting the rule book, and gives the players a little room to move. It speaks volumes that that may be the weakest track on the record.

The title track is (groan) explosive; Roll With The Punches delivers on every rock n’ roll level; Hardcore Superstar sees Dalton analysing the rock excess of the past; Let It Go is the catchiest rock song radio won’t play this year; and One Heart/One Land (Chloe’s Song) is simply a beautiful tribute to a life lost far too soon.

Powderkeg really does have it all, and how Dalton, Greene and Co haven’t been snapped up by the likes of Frontiers, Nuclear Blast or Earache Records to distribute their world class music on a global scale is, frankly, a stone cold mystery.

Category: CD Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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