In 2010 these guys released their debut album Highest Society, and it created sufficient interest that they have taken their time with this sequel and hope to build on those fortunes. Containing ten songs, (eleven if you purchase the vinyl version), the Californian sextet have delivered a promising slice of rock pie.
From the slow building drama of Blackmoon Morning to the low-slung and driving Dropping like Flies, Freedom contains a swagger that bands with confidence possess. On the first spin of this album you’ll be caught by a charm and gritty sincerity that weaves throughout songs like the pounding Hold on to the Sky or the laid back Lovers Leap where the lyrical refrain “All that I wanted was you” circles the memory. With the former check out some tasty Hammond-sounding organ during the instrumental moment, and with the latter you could easily imagine the band on the back porch watching the sun set.
At times sounding a little like Josh Todd from Buckcherry, there’s a fine performance from lead vocalist and guitarist Tim Narducci. Brad Barth provides some subtle keys throughout which make the songs blossom, especially on the title track. Cornbread on bass and Ron Redeen taking care of the drums, keep things tight on their version of the Black Sabbath classic Tomorrow’s Dream, whilst Anthony Traslavina and Craig Locicero address the requirements of the guitar department honourably.
Dealer continues the ‘Sabbath inspired musical outpouring and is one of several highlights that can be found on Freedom. Once you reach the end of this album, it feels like you’ve been wrestled to the ground by a versatile and competent rocking machine. The only thing that could be said about Freedom is how the songs may have benefitted by being shorter. This would have allowed the album as a whole to make more impact with the hooks and the pace becoming edgier. Overall though, this is still worth a listen and the potential is evident for all to hear.
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