Deadline Records CLP 1205-2
Produced by: Danny Wagner

Released: OUT NOW / Website
GENRE: Hard Rock

  1. Grand Illusion
  2. Blue Collar Man
  3. Renegade
  4. Best of Times
  5. Babe
  6. Mr. Roboto
  7. Come Sail Away
  8. Lady
  9. Too Much Time
  10. Foolin' Yourself
  11. Don't Let It End
  12. Too Much (Re-Mix)

This review is quite the opposite of the one above. Covering a sleaze rock band with sleaze rock musicians is one thing. Covering a progressive / pop / symphonic rock band that redefined music boundaries with sleaze rock musicians is asking for trouble.
Not only that, but recording a tribute on a budget one tenth (or less) than that of the original recordings is also going to leave the sound coming up short.
Now I hold no dedicated religious following to Styx, but when I can hear a set of songs this bad...
The band behind this album features Kyle Kyle (Bang Tango) on bass, Danny Wagner (Warrant) on guitars/keyboards, Danny Parker (Shake The Faith) on drums and Tracy Swider (Crush) guitars/keyboards.
The worst part (aside from some of the vocal efforts) is that this album is musically so short of the mark. Styx are one band that had so much going on within their music that it will always be difficult to reproduce. But this is so far short, it's embarrassing to listen to.
Grand Illusion sounds musically baron, but thankfully is rescued to some degree by the great Kelly Hansen, who let's face it, could just about sing anything.
Blue Collar Man features Alex Mitchel of Circus Of Power. Now what do COP have to do with Styx? Sweet FA that's for sure and the vocal for this track is even worse than his contribution to the Journey Tribute album. One dimensional and flat to point out the good points.
Now Marq Torien of the Bulletboys surprised me on the Journey tribute. His vocals were some of the best of the album. Renegade is another tough call. This time he sounds flat and uninspired. So does the song.
Best of Times sees Danny Wagner doing his best Dennis De Young. DDY he isn't, but the track just gets a pass mark.
Babe features Stevie Rachelle, who did an ok job on the GNR tribute. Babe is a soft sentimental piano ballad. A classic. This version ain't so bad. Stevie does a good job on a tough track.
Mr. Roboto features Phil Lewis. Filtered through effects he comes across as the most unlikely DDY ever, but in the end, it's ok. The musical accompaniment however sounds a little cheap.
Come Sail Away is another classic. Chaz West of Bonham is up front and I can safely say that he is a narrow improvement over South Park's Cartman.
It's Spike's turn again...and yes, he totally butchers Lady. He sounds so out of place and out of style it just grates my ears. Why do people even call this guy up? Enough!
Too Much Time features Jizzy Pearl on vocals. Again, he just sounds out of place. This is not his style of music, let alone his style of song.
Foolin' Yourself sees Kelly Hansen back from track #2. Like on the Journey tribute the guys know Kelly's the man for the job. One of the tribute's better tracks, although the music again sounds cheap.
Don't Let It End features David Lee...sorry, Ralph Saenz. I was ready for his best Van Halen vocal, but he actually sounds pretty good. Good job Ralph.
Too Much (Re-Mix) is totally misplaced. I thought this was a rock tribute, not a techno tribute? Pointless, crap and totally out of place.
BOTTOM LINE: Spare me....stick to something musically closer to home or spend a few bucks getting in some better personnel. Quite simply: a plain old bad recording of some classic songs.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Styx ultra die hards.

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