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Next review: » Steve Cone - Distortion
Released: 2001, Independent
I really wanted to like this CD. The band was nice enough to send me a copy and I had high hopes. I like guitar heroes and had heard of Steve here and there so I was looking forward to this CD.
For whatever reason, I was a little disappointed, and I’m not even sure why. This is Steve Cone’s 6th CD. It is a demo of 9 songs from 3 of his previous CD’s, which is a cool idea. Unfortunately it was poorly executed. It is easy to criticize, I understand these things take time and money to produce but this was a little rushed. A dull, black and white photocopied cover with a picture of a building being demolished..get it?…Man, how many crappy metal ‘zines and radio shows in the 80’s used the same title for their demo review section? Lots. It’s not original or funny anymore.
The very brief liner not from Steve says, “I am not going to waste your time filling you with bullshit”. Well that’s nice but at least give us some details and career synopsis! Ya gotta sell the sizzle sometimes! Here is an unknown struggling guitar hero type guy and he is limiting himself with the attitude and presentation. However…I truly admire the artistic integrity and his obvious skill, dedication and passion for heavy guitar music or else he wouldn’t have 6 CD’s under his belt! After 6 CD’s you’d think he learn but… benefit of the doubt on this one. Sometimes ya gotta strip away the crap and let the music do the talking. One last note before we do get to the music…Steve has been in about half a dozen lesser known bands since the early 80’s and has since relocated to Arizona and churned out 5 solo CD’s in 4 years, so he is a prolific song-writer and experienced musician.
One major advantage I found was the inclusion of vocals! The vocalist has no name. No name included on the CD I had to go to the web-site and it still didn’t let me know. I’m assuming it’s Steve whoever it is has a nice sneer/snarl style like Dave Mustaine, not a classic power metal voice by any means but one dripping with emotion and attitude. Good stuff! Vocals often add a much needed element to these sometimes generic guitar hero CD’s. The lyrics are pretty good too focusing on the modern world and the issues one might face…no Dungeons and Dragons for Steve!
Great songs, the guy can play! All the tracks have a bit of the same feel to them but maybe that’s what they refer to as a “signature style”. As with most of these kind of CD’s the bass and drums are just there, engines of necessity rather than creative weapons in their own right.
Overall my lower rating is reflected in the fact that I have listened to this CD 5 times now, and still nothing sticks in my head. Some bands write riffs are instantly catchy, they have that hook and these songs lack that hook. The song structures are intro, verse, chorus, verse chorus, solo chorus, chorus, chorus etc… The solos are great, everything is good, but nothing really jumped out at me. Maybe I’m tired and jaded or not feeling charitable but the whole CD reminds me of second rate, mid tempo Annihilator. Take that as you will, good or bad.
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