Illinois based guitarist Brent Rubsam's debut plants his musical flag firmly in blues/rock territory. All the tracks were written by Rubsam, and were recorded by a four piece line-up.The other pieces of the jigsaw are bass (Mike Passalacqua), drums (Kent "Sweet" Aberle and Mike Wake) and keyboards (Randal Rhoads).
Things get underway with "Destination Anywhere" a rocking bar-room blues
tune, with some cracking pounding piano. It is pretty raucous stuff, and here (and elsewhere) Rubsam's vocals sound a little strained, as he tries to match the hard edge of the music. For some reason, Brownsville Station (remember them?) came to mind during this one. It is backed up by another rocking tune ("Tell Me Why") which opens with some nice chops on guitar.
A brace of slower tunes form the heart of the album. "Always & Forever" is
an instrumental that plods a bit, but the ensuing title track features some more tasty guitar, before the band get back to their stock in trade rockier material. "Don't Back Down" is more uptempo, and veers toward hard rock territory. The best is saved until last, however. "Gettin' It" has some more neat fretwork, which is neatly underpinned by some almost funky organ.
"Hard Rain" is one for the blues rockers, with the emphasis on the rock. Rubsam's guitar never gets too flashy, although he still amply demonstrates that he can play a bit. He struggles a little with the vocals, however, but it is hard to find good blues/rock vocalists. More of tracks like "Gettin' It" though, will help to establish Rubsam's reputation as a good guitarist and tunesmith. Note that the short play police will be after this one, since it registers less than 27 minutes.
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