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MUSIC REVIEW: 10 YEARS – Violent Allies

| 7 November 2020 | Reply

Label: Mascot Records

Release Date: September 18, 2020

Rating: 90%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

10 Years is a band that runs across my email and concert schedule periodically, especially since they seem to play a favorite venue of mine on every tour.  Unfortunately, I have never been able to get my schedule to align with theirs.  With recorded music being the main outlet for those of us missing live shows, I have been able to dig into some releases that normally would have passed me by… the latest from 10 years included.  Disc opener “The Shift” is a great trick that gets things rolling and sets the bar.  The cadence is contagious and the band pulls together the vocals, lyrics, and instrumentation creating a killer track that draws you in to digest the rest of the disc.  “The Unknown” slows the pace a bit while the song works from the opening note, through the first verse and into the chorus, where the band awaits the track and jumps into the musical fray with both feet, only to pull back a bit for the next verse and a short bridge.  The layered vocals add depth to the song through another bridge and the outro.  “Deja Vu” has a cool riff that chugs through the intro and verse, which is perfectly delivered for the songs mood and vibe.  The rhythm section kicks in and away we go, on a musical joy ride the sees the vocals getting a little more intense at the chorus without sounding overdone or too harsh to take away from the songs flow.  “Cut The Cord” delivers a driving beat from the drums and bass that are the lifeblood of the track underneath the guitars and vocals.  The song is balanced between modern rock sound and arena rock vibe.  This song was built to play in a life scenario and should get hands and horns in the air, dancing together above the crowd.  “Sleep In The Fire” has a vocal that takes on a different sound without deviating from the rest of the disc.  The guitars ebb and flow in the mix while the drums and bass keep the song moving forward… but make no mistake, the vocals take the lead on this track… and well I might add.  The percussion fills tossed in are fun to hear and the bass runs add a bit of depth to the song at times as well.  “Start Again” is a straight forward rocker that ties this collection to the bands catalog sonically, from the guitars and rhythm section to the big vocals that these guys have cultivated to be a constant sound throughout their career.  The chorus is catchy and gets your foot tapping and you singing along, while the bridge adds some different sounds and textures.

“Waiting” has a throwback sound woven into the guitar work and the vocals take me back to the early 2000’s when rock was re-inventing itself with the growth of different subgenres.  The steady cadence of the track, thanks to a perfect foundation provided by the bottom end, that allows the guitars to weave in and out between the vocals.  This song has an almost hypnotic groove that permeates the song and the disc.  “Without You” has a beautiful musical interlude to open that gets a shot in the arm from the bass, drums, and vocals.  The song grows through the verse, builds at the chorus, and circles back through the next verse, chorus and bridge.  This song has a cool vibe that helps tie it to the other songs on the collection without sounding repetitive.  “Planets III” strips back the bands sound and gives us a different glimpse into them as artists, not simply rockers.  While different sonically, the guitar sound and groove takes me back to Ace Frehley’s solo album instrumental “Fractured Mirror.”  This is something I could toss into any playlist and it would blend right in.  “I Wish” is another track that benefits from a milder groove that builds slowly through the verse and into the chorus.  The layered vocals benefit from solid six-string work on the track.  There is a slight pop vein in the musical DNA of this track that allows you to head bang while digging the nuances of the track.  This song is another song from the disc that would succeed in front of a live crowd.  “Planets IV” revisits the instrumental vibe and feel of “Planets III,” giving us more of the guitar work, but adding touches of other sounds that keep the sound fresh and light.  The song, while different, is the perfect transition piece for the disc closer “Say Goodbye.”  The tribal drums that drive the track under the guitars lull you in, allowing you to enjoy the perfect storm of guitars, bass, and vocals that help complete the musical circle of this track.  This mood setting track perfectly balances the different facets of the disc, from vocals and guitars to the bottom end that anchors the track without weighing the song down.  Now for the live music situation to change so the bands can toss some of these into a setlist and bring these new tracks to the masses.

Tracklisting: The Shift – The Unknown – Waiting – Deja Vu – Without You – Cut The Cord – Planets III – Sleep In The Fire – I Wish – Start Again – Planets IV – Say Goodbye






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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