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Kivel Records
Produced by: Mary Smilek

Released: OUT / Website
Relatives: Lynch Mob, Bon Jovi
GENRE: Hard Rock

  1. Christened By Fire
  2. Sentimental Highway
  3. Shot Of Your Love
  4. Heartbeat In A Heart
  5. Don't Say Goodbye
  6. Roxy
  7. Walk In Line
  8. Vain
  9. Almost There
  10. Fire It Up
  11. Lay Down Your Guns
  12. Wind & Reign
  13. Devil's Dance
  14. Tears Of Blood

Smilek is a new American Kivel Records signing and should gain a good deal of support and an instant fan base.
The guys play some great song hooks in the style of traditional straight ahead American melodic rock, with both rootsy mid-western and LA area hard rocking influences.
The production quality is the only thing to let the side down on this release.
It's just a little low budget and sometimes sounds a little demo-ish, but there is enough promise here to hope for a second album that will no doubt, have a better sound.
There are comparisons that range from Bon Jovi in some of the softer anthem rockers to Van Halen and even a Lynch Mob style sleaze on a few harder tracks.
The guys have 14 tracks on offer here, with barely a filler amongst them. It takes a few listens to get into and to find those hooks, but then it's hard to get them out of your head.
It's a sometimes varied delivery, but consistent in sound and the theme of good time rock n roll, both lyrically and musically shines throughout. This is a party rock record!
Did I mention the nice cover and packaging?
BOTTOM LINE: An album of well written and hook filled hard rockers, with heavy touches and a sense of the LA hard rock scene influencing their sound.
What could turn out to be a very good band need to have a better production / mix in place for their next album. If they do that, it could be an instant classic, as the song quality is excellent.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Fans of stright up catchy American hard rock.

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