Various - Ultimate Rock

Tuesday 1st May 1990
Various - Ultimate Rock
Various - Ultimate Rock

RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
LABEL: StarSong SSD8140

Reviewed by Paul Poulton

All some people need for a song is a good riff. Well here's a bunch of them. 'Ultimate Rock' is a compilation of twelve American bands and solo artists riffing their way through some solid rock gospel. Some of it is pretty heavy, other cuts are lighter, if that's the phrase for Steve Taylor's Spector-like wall of sound on "Jim Morrison's Grave". Mylon and Broken Heart's track "Remember The Future" stands out for its production and arrangement. Margaret Becker is the only female included, whose song "Start The Fire" blisters its way through its encouraging lyrics with nice rhythm and classy lead guitar work. Mark Farner, one time leader of Grand Funk Railroad, motors on his self-penned tune "Just Another Injustice" which has a sneaky saxophone hidden in the riff. And he's thought about his lyrics, too. If he had just a bit more treble in his voice it would be top-ho! Note here, the levels on the tracks are not always the same which is a slight problem because this album needs to be played loud. Also, I wondered why there's not more quality lead guitar playing here. But that's nit-picking. All some people need is a good riff, and I'm one of them.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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