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| 25 February 2023 | Reply

Label: Rat Pak Records

Release Date: February 24, 2023

Rating: 95%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

According to a recent press release: “Not many bands can say they are releasing their third album thirty-five years after their debut, but not many bands have the history that California rockers Roxanne have. Originally formed in the late 80’s, Roxanne garnered commercial success with their 1988 self-titled debut album which was well received with two songs charting on rock radio — “Cherry Bay” and “Sweet Maria,” as well as a cover of Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music.”  I took this one for a couple spins before deciding I may have found my favorite new old band.  Disc opener and title track “Stereotypical” gets the rock party started with solid bass, drums, and some thick guitar riffs kicking the door down before the vocals jump in and you feel like you took a time warp back to a time when Thin Lizzy ruled the rock world.  The overall vibe of the track is fun and gets the foot tapping from first listen and keeps you listening long after the song has ended.  “Looks Like Rain” is another gem on this disc that gets repeat treatment from me each time I listen through.  The a cappella treatment on the opening builds mildly as the band joins the musical fray while leaving the power behind.  Be sure to listen for special guest Paul Martin’s riffs during the bridge that take on a Queen vibe.  “Only A Call Away” keeps things on a mellower rock ride that receives special treatment from Kings X’s dUg Pinnick in a duet with Jamie Brown.  The guitars work perfectly on this track while the rhythm section guides the way.  “Open Book” is a cool song that features soaring vocals that rest perfectly against milder guitar work from John Butler and Brown.  The disc is full of softer tracks that border the rock / ballad line without getting too soft in the mix and tracklist.  This one adds a little something different with acoustic guitar pushed up in the mix.  “Keep On Keepin’ On” is the song that screams BONUS in my mind as the band has my favorite singer Jeff Scott Soto lacing his vocals across the song through the track, not just a spot moment or two.  The songs rock quotient is high and the addition of Soto takes it over the top in my opinion.  Be sure to check out the riffs tossed on top of the bridge.

“Gotta Live” dials it back up with a heavy bottom end that anchors the track and gives the vocals and guitars plenty of room to run.  It is hard to argue with the cool texture woven into the tracks musical landscape, especially when everything kicks it up a notch at the chorus.  Jamie Brown’s vocals are solid and keep the song in check.  “The Cost Of Living” is one of my favorites on the disc thanks to the killer tempo and cadence driven by drummer Dave Landry and bassist Joe Infante.  The rhythm of the track is catchy and allows you to ease into the overall vibe of the song giving the disc an accessible rock feel.  Do not sleep on the guitar work in the background, as it avoids being washed inti the background while allowing the vocals to standout.  “Waiting For Laura” is a song that winds up rolling through my head for hours after hearing it.  The overall vibe is contagious, but the anthemic feel of the layered vocals on the chorus build a wall of sound feel that is begging to be played and heard in a live setting.  The lead vocal is thick and perfectly offsets the heavy handed basslines from Infante that are draped across and throughout the track.  “Until They Do” is a solid rock track that rips all the cool sonic facets from the other songs, swirls them together, and jumps through the speakers at you.  The riffs, the chugging bass, the big drums, and the vocals all come together giving the foursome another great song to help take the disc toward its finish.  Disc closer “Without A Rope” takes you back musically and takes on a Bowie-ish texture vocally, especially on the opening verse.  Musically, the song hits hard without being punishing or overbearing.  The bottom end is heavy and pushes the track while the guitars and other instrumentation dance across the song from open to close.  Depending on the version of the disc or download you purchase, you may get a bonus track – ” Nothing to Lose” – that is prophetic, as you don’t lose at all with this rocker that is as good as any track on the disc and gets the head banging and foot tapping.  I cannot wait to go back and check out their catalog now…

Tracklisting: Stereotypical – Looks Like Rain – Gotta Live – Only A Call Away – The Cost Of Living – Open Book – Waiting For Laura – Keep On Keepin’ On – Until They Do – Without A Rope







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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