STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 175846-28406 LABEL: RockFest FORMAT: CD Album
Reviewed by Ian Webber
After their founding in 1996, this Dallas-based outfit have been on quite a journey eventually resulting in them releasing this album on lead singer Joseph Rojas' own label, RockFest Records. With the creative freedom this brings, they have returned to their heavy rock roots and these 10 tracks are full of personal stories and reflections. Driving out of the blocks with "Alive Again" we are treated to a well-rounded and purring guitar track that sets up the rest of the album on a chunky footing. Continuing with this theme, the album makes its way through a solid slab of radio friendly heavy rock. At times I can hear hints of late '90s metallers Pillar as solid chops are mixed along with layered harmonies in sing along choruses. The track chosen for Cross Rhythms airplay is "Light It Up" though the hooky "Man Down", which examines the mental well-being of a traumatised ex-soldier, is almost as good. The most touching cuts are those that speak to personal experience such as "The Letter" and "Sober". In every way SDS have developed a mature and well-rounded sound that will please any hard rock fan. It would be fair to say that they do not push any boundaries, but what they do, they do well! Solid bass rhythms, layers, textures of light and shade are all held together by intricate drum work. The only grating negative that I could find was a slight overuse of an electronic echo effect that became a motif through several of the 10 tracks. 'Closer To Chaos' is definitely an album that sees an experienced group of rock musicianaries at the top of their game.
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