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| 29 July 2022 | Reply

Label: Reslau Records

Release Date: June 24, 2022

Rating: 99%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

When recently asked to describe the new music, frontman Adam Stevenson told me in a recent Dirty Dozen installment: “Our debut album A Hero’s Journey is a concept album based on the hero’s journey archetype coined by Joseph Campbell, so for lovers of the album format and especially concept albums, this collection of 10 rock songs will deliver many treats along the way. It should be listened to in the album order to get the full hero’s journey experience!”  Disc opener “Fait Accompli” takes you back to a late 80’s rocker complete with the more mainstream keyboard intro and feel, but soon the guitars are ripping through, the vocals are soaring, and the drums are thundering, helping deliver a rocker that sets the bar and the pace for the album.  “People” is all guitars, drums, and bass until the vocals kick in with a different feel on the verse, but settle into a rock vein on the chorus.  This song comes straight at you and doesn’t let up until the song has played through and even begs you to join in on the catchy melody.  “Long Way To Fall” has a cool piano interlude that brings the song into view, but soon the drums join the fray moments before the bass and guitars jump in with both feet.  Next up the vocals kick in and they are mirrored in the melody by the guitars through the verse and into a wall of sound chorus that gets you more enthralled with the contagious track.  “Delicately Poised” has an arena / anthemic feel during the drum led intro that swiftly shifts gears into another rocker that embraces the bands strengths.  The layered background vocals on the chorus add depth to the track and help round out the bands musical arsenal with different sounds and textures.  “Time” builds on the sound, feel, and groove of other tracks without sounding overdone or repetitive.  The songs contrasting almost spoken word verse and solidly sung background and choruses gives this song a different feel.  Don’t get fooled by this one – the stripped down breakdown between the chorus and verse is a welcome addition to the vibe of the track and disc.

“Second Skin” slows the pace and results in a cool power ballad… and it’s phenomenal.  I could listen to this song on repeat.  The melody is beautiful, the vocal pushes just enough to bring the importance of the track across.  The musical accompaniment is an awesome swirl of soft, orchestral, and at the choruses a full rock presentation and takes on a rock opera feel that carries through the balance of the track.  I dare you to not sing or hum along once the second chorus hits.  “Fire” is a cool rocker that walks the border or pop-rock thanks to the different sound of the guitars, the lighter bottom end, and the vocals that seem to focus more on the upper register, but this fits the mold of the rest of the album.  I may have found my favorite new band of 2022 based on the tracks here.  The song has a great vibe woven into it that permeates the verses, chorus, and various breakdowns and bridge.  “Force Fight” is another track that feels like all rock until the mood shifts at the verse and takes on an almost progressive rock feel in the bottom end and guitar fusion sound.  The rock quotient kicks back in at the chorus and we are off and running on an energetic rock ride that keeps things in check and allows the band to dial up the energy a bit.  “Better Than This” is the discs second ballad and it adds to the overall sound of the disc.  The piano accompaniment is cool, the orchestration is a nice touch, but the real star of this song is Adam Stevenson’s vocal.  I haven’t heard a two-pack of power ballads on a rock album in decades to rival this paired with “Second Skin.”  This song grabs me each time through and causes me to stop whatever it is I’m doing and listen / sing along.  Disc closer “Save a Stranger” brings the collection full circle and takes us out on a cool rock vibe that drags the different sounds and textures out and swirls them into one track.  The guitars help carry the chorus and transitions while the drums and bass lead the charge during the verse.  Worst part of this band??? They are located in New Zealand, so all we can do is send a prayer or two to the rock and roll tour gods that these guys land some shows here in the States.

Tracklisting: Fait Accompli – People – Second Skin – Long Way To Fall – Fire – Delicately Poised – Force Fight – Time – Better Than This – Save a Stranger






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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