Album REVIEW : Chain Reaction
From the moment you hit PLAY on the lead-off track, “Rock With Me”, you can’t help but
wonder what you’re about to hear next, but then kicks in the full throttle ROCK that finds a way
to melt your brain as you’re trying to figure out if this is something that is old, or new. Featuring
rhythmic approaches and lightly overdriven rhythm guitar work that is semi-reminiscent of an
early Angus Young and Joe Perry with an overall sound that feels somewhere between Classic
and Contemporary. HER finds a beautifully interesting way to blend the vocal vibes of Madonna,
Lzzy Hale, a female Steven Tyler.
The album's’ title track “Chain Reaction” kicks off with some beautifully saturated guitar
that has tons of reverb and dances with a tone somewhere between a warm phase and Leslie
rotary speaker. Then, kick in the drums and find the incoming slick thick sliding guitar riff that
you have no option but to snarl and bang your head with. HER’s voice doesn’t disappoint with a
delivery that sounds somewhere between ballsy and beautiful.
Next comes “Taking Up Space”, HER’s vocals lead off with the battle cry that is very
anthemic; “To be rich and famous is all we’re about”. A rockin guitar riff that is borderline
southern drives this tune into a weird territory that is very satisfying. The chorus is very
infectious and catchy, yet retaining the great quality that is a mid-ground between classic and
“Say What You Mean” throws a left hook into your cerebrum as we now move into a
more of an Alternative Rock vibe. HER’s voice really shines through on this track as the leading
force. The song is solid, strong, and features some interesting background vocals that make this
track memorable. To make this song even better, there is a great guitar solo that draws
influence from many different sources. To this listener, I can hear the shimmering highs of
Journey’s Neal Schon, jazzy/shreddy moments of Al Di Meola, double stops ala Gary
Rossington, and ends with a staccato section then a major run that is vintage Ace Frehley. As a
lover of what seemingly is a lost art in today’s music scene, a well constructed guitar solo such
as this is very refreshing and invigorating.
“Futuristic Frequency” is a straight rocker that offers a sexy grooving breakdown and
great energy. Solid, Strong, and Sexy.
“What Do You Want” will throw you back to something very familiar. This track strongly
resembles a classic Pat Benatar track with modern production.
“Seriously” is an another rocker that blends new and classic almost seamlessly.
Take a moment to slow things down a bit with “Three Things For The Highway”. Starting
off with beautiful organs and a bluesy vocal delivery, you know this is going to be a special
track. Then kicks in the music! Smooth and mellow driven by Piano. Then, bring in the guitar,
and what a groove throughout the band! Beautiful vocal delivery! This song blurs the lines
between between big 70’s progressive rock in the style of Manfred Mann, blending heavy riff
action with beautiful melodies and vocal harmonies like you might hear on an Alice Cooper
record, and a near Pop-Rock vibe reminiscent of Halestorm.
“Sun Goes Black” is a beautiful take on what this reviewer would describe is somewhere
between an Anthem and Power Ballad. Superb vocals, shimmering guitar, and a tight back
section keeping the rhythm strong and powerful.
The album resolves on a lighter note. After being bombarded with strong, hard, and
heavy Rock n Roll for so long, the listener gets an opportunity to catch their breath. This track
keeps it slow and subtle with a great old school blues vibe. “I Swear” leaves you on a bit of a
cliffhanger. Like a relationship that seemingly ends on a sour note, you find yourself in disbelief
that it’s over. You find yourself wanting more. To this Reviewer, Music Lover, and Musician,
THAT is how a great album should end.
Chain Reaction has all the great elements of what a Rock record should be. A true blur
between Modern and Vintage, Hard and Soft, Blues and Southern, Pop and Rock, even Country
and Metal, Chain Reaction offers something special that nearly every music fan can appreciate.
To summarize this Rock masterpiece, Chain Reaction is sweet, sexy, ballsy, and rockin’.