Tuesday, August 18, 2009


There is a fine line between homage and parody. That is, many bands who flout their influences do more to damage their own reputations (as unoriginal rip offs) anyone remember Kingdom Come? On the other side however are those who take those influences and make‘em their own.

On this the 2nd release of Delaware’s MainLine Riders we have the later. The Riders bring us a sound akin to Rose Tattoo, AC/DC, Angel City (the Angels) and a little George Thorogood for measure. Cliffy and crew have put together a great collection of driving hard rocking gems. From “It All Ends Tonite” to “It’s a Revolution” this disc is made to be played LOUD.

The guitars are placed well in the mix, right in the front which just drives this whole project along at a solid clip. Matthew Kenenske and Cliffy get the groove happening and you can’t help but start tapping your foot or swinging your head, back and forth….. Even busting out the ole air guitar. Mike Walter and Adam Dee provide that solid rhythm section without a lot of excess that doesn’t fit this style of rock n roll.

I myself was weaned on the boyz from Down Under. Having been a listener since 1980 onwards and I hear some of the ‘Dirty Deeds’ and ‘Let There Be Rock’ era AC/DC influence on some of these tracks. When Shawn Browning starts to crank those vocals out it’s a mix of Bon Scott and Taime Downe from ‘Faster Pussycat’. It fits the sound perfectly. The production is clean and crisp and one thing I really like (which is from the mastering phase I believe) is that there is very little time break between songs, they just flow right into each other.

“Hell Ain’t a Good Place to Be”, “Power Surge”, “Chrome & Steel”, “Rhythm-N-Blues” are the highpoints for me. Energy, power and great hooks. When I heard “Hell Ain’t a Good Place to Be” I ‘bout fell over. A combination of several influences that came out sounding like gold. Don’t misunderstand there isn’t one weak song on this disc, the Tesla sounding ballad “Coming Home” even rings true. This is really what my friends and I call ‘driving music’, put this bad boy in turn it up and just DRIVE! Like the first Montrose album or AC/DC’s “If You Want Blood You’ve Got It”. Great song order that demands a 2nd and 3rd listen. Tell me you can’t listen to “Power Surge” and just press replay on your IPod or CD player.

Lot’s of great anthems and those come from great lyric writing and great melodies. It looks like Shawn Browning might’ve written most of the lyrics and cheers to him for the lack of cliché’s. Truly more Christian anthems without the overused phrases are needed and there are several on this disc. Imaginative lyric writing that makes this album the complete package, we’re not talking Shakespeare but simply well written and thought out material.

I sense a lot of heart and blood and sweat on this release; it’s my hope that this is a bright beginning for MainLine Riders. Are there any t-shirts available as I’d wear one proudly.

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1 comment:

Cliffy said...

Thanks a lot for this review. For the record, the lyrics were written by myself and Shawn...we did so together. Occasional additional help by Matthew Kenenske.