Stream four tracks off Only Rock And Roll Can Save Us Nowright here.
And here we go, Tyler Read and I, on a rock and roll adventure. Actually, Rock Smoothie is a more apt description. There is a little taste of everything – metal, alternative rock, hardcore-worthy gang vocals, and more – rounded off with a crisp pop-fun casing. Beginning with “The Killer,” it is clear that the Louisiana collective pose a bold statement with their Immortal Records debut album title, Only Rock And Roll Can Save Us Now. I took the line as an ode to a metal worship that was lost after Metallica. Call me a pessimist.
But then I really got into it and pretty quick. Queen crescendos, starts, stops and tempo changes are second nature on Rock And Roll. Arena-sized metal guitars are fluent, shredding and a fleet of showmanship, and the vocals are racking up the ladies with verses like There’s a woman undercover/She’s a tasty little thing/She’s a sexy little note. And this is all within the first three minutes – certainly a good precedent. Between the riffed-up guitars and buzzing keyboard notes, Tyler Read feels electric, much like the message their album title aims to portray. What I originally thought would be too packaged for MTV feels good to the slugging heart, like a static energy that keeps my arm hair reaching for the ceiling.
“Michael Jackson,” track three, is the first standout track. It has a fun shoulder-popping backbeat and smooth lines of vocal melodies. I’m progressively impressed with Rock and Roll, especially on the title track, standout number two. Vocalist Josh Johnson isn’t Freddie Mercury, but he grits his teeth and soars like a good Queen climax. There is a flashy guitar solo up and down the fret board that will translate nicely to a live audience. The keyboard work is there, but it is hard to distinguish after all this fierce riffage coming off like sexy hair metal. Now that I want to see Tyler Read live, I believe it’s safe to say Rock and Roll has succeeded in getting me to bed.
With all this sweaty and hot cock rock in swift waves, the pop edge stays put. There is no denying that Read are starting small fires with their guitar pics, but Rock and Roll is still a pop-rock album. As a result, certain songs feel tacky and forced, like the power-chord heavy power ballad that is “Fire Away.” “Baby’s Got A Gun” will probably rage up some opinions with the feminists (Shut your girl’s mouth/Teach her respect), but it’s one of the best songs on the effort. The album falls back into a steady and satisfying pace with the chanting chorus of “Private School Girls.”
Like they say, don’t judge a book (or album) by its cover (or CD booklet). And don’t judge five fresh (and marketable) aviator-wearing rock enthusiasts as popular spin-offs before you give them a chance. I sense something good here. It’s still a bit contrived at times, but it wont be as long as Tyler Read keeps forgetting the dryer sheets.
so i saw them a week ago in colorado and they showed me their art work and the art work oyu have up is not it, they changed it and its all over their myspace right now, also on the art work there is no "Now" in the title of the record. they also said something about the song being called baby's got a temper, not baby's got a gun. i dunno
the show was awesome though but i think i liked showbread better but pillar really impressed me too, not at all what i was expecting. great review though and i'm looking forward ot the album "Only Rock And Roll Can Save Us"