Title: IILabel: Independent Release
It's not often an album is described as 'killers and no fillers', but flippin' heck Tucker, this new one by Cranston is bang on that!! The band, as usual consists of the one and only Phil Vincent on vocals, Paul Sabu - bass, guitars, backing vocals and B.F.D'Ercole, whom Phil is singer for in his self-titled group (D'Ercole!), and all 3 combine to give us lucky buggers a set of songs that rock like Donald Trumps hair in the wind!
From the opening barnstormer 'Always On The Run' and it's Angus-alike riff, the trio set out to take us into Rock Heaven and beyond, continuing on in the classy Rock mould with 'What's It Gonna Take', a bit Thunder here drum-wise, a bit Electric Boys there with the six-strings, and of course those familiar vocals by Phil, who actually sounds as if he's singing with a smile on his face, which wouldn't surprise me, the way he seems to enjoy his work!
There's hints of a Celtic vibe meandering round
'Wrong Side Of Town', similar to that of BSR now and then,
but not as overpowering, though you do still get the
gang-like 'HEY's' thrown in for authenticity, Sabu's top
drawer solos just what we expect from the talented fella,
but his input on 'Soul Crusher' is exactly that ... crushing
and heavy...as is the track, even with the touch of keys
adding their bit of 'I'm taking no nonsense here'!
Staying with that heavier tone 'Tables Turning' keeps the heat on, falling into the darker side of Whitesnake category with the pounding drums, heavy duty solos and keys, and naturally the lyrics have to put someone in their place, which they do rather emphatically here, then suddenly the lads go country/rock on us on the uptempo, semi-acoustic, tambourined 'Wish I Had More Time', as if Bon Jovi, Aerosmith and Cadillac Three had been put in a mixer and out popped this tune!
Keeping two of those bands in mind, 80's
Hard Rock raises it's head via both 'One Track Mind' and the
anthemic 'Throwin' Down', both throwbacks to that age when
BIG air ruled, both fuelled by fist-pumping drumming and air
guitarists dream riffage, a future inclusion on one of those
'The Best Air Guitar Albums In The World' if there is a God!
After it's calm acoustic intro 'Sad Truth' grabs you by the
cahoonas and gives them a damn hard shaking as it ... chuggs
ain't the word ... steamrollers it's way on through on a
platform of immense drumming, which flays on into the big
arena-sounding monster 'Take Me', nice touches on the
harmonies, but they don't distract you too much from that
huge wall of sound that is bouncing off the walls, shaking
the foundations of next doors house, never mind your own!!
it comes to the final track on your album, go out with
either a sentimental ballad that will stay in the listeners
mind long the finish, or go out with a bit of a bang to keep
the head nodding for just that bit longer. What do Cranston
do? Just blow the bleeding speakers off the wall, that's
what!! 'Dead & Gone' is definitely NOT one to play just
before you go to bed, because you'll end up hoofing your lass up
the hint end in your sleep as you'll still be so hyped up on
adrenaline due to this pile-driver, literally a mass of
skin-peeling guitars and thunderous drumming at
neck-breaking tempo, Phil's vocals as ass-kicking as he
could possibly get it to match the wall of sound surrounding
him. And they still try to tell us 'Rock is dead'?? GFY.
With albums like this from Cranston ... LONG LIVE
Review by: Robb Baldwin
On The Run
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