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June 24, 2024

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Nationwide (MIA Records)

By: Jeb Branin

This CD starts out in fine fashion with a classic hard rock presence (courtesy of the massive guitars and macho vocals) unfortunately sometime before the end of the disc things start to unravel. This is one of those cases where the band's biggest strength also turns out to be their greatest weakness. It's like this... throughout the album there are bursts of brilliance, especially in the more "classic" sounding tunes but at the same time I'm left with the distinct impression that I've heard this all before. ROADSAW borrow heavily from over 30 years of great hard rock. There are flavors of the psychedelic crunch of IRON BUTTERFLY, the organ driven passion of URIAH HEEP, the massive guitars of DEEP PURPLE, the visceral reality of good southern rock and the balls to the wall energy of SOUNDGARDEN all mixed into one gigantic sound. But it seems to be too much of a good thing. After a few tracks the tunes start to sound the same. There aren't enough of the dynamics that hard rock demands. Instead of peaks and valleys in their energy and delivery they shoot right to the top of the scale and stay there. They end up on a plateau. Being relentless like this works with extreme metal and hardcore, but with hard rock you need ebb and flow, climax and release. ROADSAW come up just a bit short.
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