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TRACK LIST: 1. Run From Your Master 3:22 2. Dyin' Blues 3:23 3. Religious Fervor 4:05 4. Eye for an Eye 3:41 5. Crazy for You 3:07 6. Dragon Fly 3:18 7. So Damn Sad 2:54 8. Fighting for a Golden Age 2:54 9. Bad Day 5:02 10. Liars and Thieves 4:00 LINEUP: Will Floyd – vocals Adam Louis – guitar Ben Lowry – bass Abby Leigh Hairston – drums
Prolusion. The US outfit THE ONE THROUGH TENS, whose members prefer to spell its name as The 1 - 10's, is based in Nashville, Tennessee. There they have managed to establish themselves as a popular act on the local live scene, best known for energetic and explosive performances. "Fighting for a Golden Age" is their first full-length release.
Analysis. Websites dedicated to reviews are numerous, and the artists submitting material to them to be reviewed even more so. And while many are rather good at sifting out what websites would cater for their audience in the best manner and what sites serve their purpose best, other submissions can be slightly more puzzling. This production by The One Through Tens belongs in the latter category, a disc that doesn't have too much in common with progressive rock, even with a liberal interpretation of the genre, submitted for a review to this website which specialize in just that kind of music. I presume the idea is that progressive rock fans might also enjoy music of other kinds, and that this item would spark some interest among an audience that normally wouldn't seek this band out. What we're dealing with here is a curious variety of blues-based hard rock. The blues is very much at the heart of the proceedings, the bass guitar in particular placing somewhat of an emphasis in its delivery for that style of music, but in this case liberally spiced with alternative rock and a few metal touches. Imagine a band residing at the halfway point between mid-70's Robin Trower and Living Colours' "Vivid"-era and you won't be too far away. Energetic rhythms and spirited guitars is the name of the game here, pretty straightforward on most occasions, but with a tendency to explore a less-is-more philosophy in the verse parts, which, on a number of occasions, sport bass, drums and vocals only. Occasional use of staccato instrument bursts is an effect that pops up now and then, but by and large these tracks are freely flowing creations of a kind I imagine goes down like a storm whenever the band play live, at least while performing for an audience with taste and appreciation for hard rock rather than metal. Vocalist Floyd has a powerful voice too, and one that suits the material well. Perhaps a tad uncontrolled and rough at times, but if the band is as active live as their webpage indicates he'll be improving that part of his repertoire soon enough. Most tracks on this disc, in my opinion, are safely tucked away in the nice tunes department. Efforts that don't grab you by the balls and force themselves into your system, but rather pleasant material you might hum along to while tapping your feet to the rhythm. But on a few occasions they add in some different flavors for an intriguing end result, flirting with Black Sabbath-inspired riffs on Religious Fervor makes for a song that does stand out, and the alloy of stoner rock, blues and the odd psychedelic-inspired guitar solo on Bad Day is another blend that successfully finds its way into my mind for an elongated stay. And while relatively simpler compositionally, the title track is probably the best of the lot. A tender, swirling yet forceful guitar solo placed on top of an energetic bass and drums combination, the latter which is given brief moments to rule alone while supporting the vocals prior to the guitar motif returning. An arrangement not too high up on the scale of sophistication admittedly, but when contained in a track clocking in at just under three minutes this works like a charm.
Conclusion. While dedicated progressive rock fans won't find too much to their fancy on this disc, those who generally enjoy energetic hard rock should find "Fighting for a Golden Age" to be well-made to cater for their needs, especially if a blend of blues-based and alternative hard rock sounds appealing. I imagine this outfit really rocks the house on stage, and I'd recommend checking them out in that setting if they ever hit a dive in your neighborhood.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: Agst 6, 2011
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