Sound — 7
Egypt Central lets out a lot of frustration on it's self-titled debut album, with many of the songs recalling everything from being dropped by a major label to lost love. But for as much trouble as the band has gone through, Egypt Central is still a pretty straightforward rock group that doesn't get overly aggressive. There are hints of 3 Doors Down throughout the record, and it isn't until vocalist John T. Falls lets out throaty screams here and there that break that trend. When it comes down to it, Egypt Central is a band that will appeal to a large mass of people out there -- but that doesn't mean they are offering up a truly groundbreaking record the first time around. The 11 tracks on the CD definitely are fitting for any given top-40 hard rock radio station. This isn't a terrible thing, but at times the songs are a bit too familiar to stand out. The opening track Different starts out with a pretty basic intro riff that doesn't grab you at first, but the chorus is extremely catchy thanks to vocalist Falls' passionate delivery. Falls breaks out into a rap midway through the song, and although it does show off his versatility, it really doesn't fit that well into the song. Over And Under highlights some of the best aspects of the band, with an infectious, groove-oriented intro and a memorable guitar solo. This track is one of the most likeable on the album, and it doesn't hurt that there is plenty of solid musicianship to back it up. Guitarists Heath Hindman and Jeff James don't feel utilized enough in other songs, and Over And Under does give them an opportunity to stand in the spotlight. In fact, the guitar solo in Over And Under is one of the CD's shining moments. Walls Of Innocence strays from the Egypt Central's usual formula on the record, and it is another standout track because of it. There are some interesting dubbed, spoken vocals (as if from a radio broadcast or something to that effect) underneath the sections leading into the verse at times, while the guitar lines have some effective, unusual effects. It doesn't feel like a radio single necessarily, and that's probably one of the best aspects about Walls Of Innocence. While the general top-40 public might like most of the tracks on the record, it's simply refreshing to hear Egypt Central try out something a bit gutsier.
Lyrics — 9
The ups and downs of the past few years are definitely evident in terms of the lyrics, and fans will be able to appreciate the honest, heartfelt approach. Songs like Leap Of Faith cover an inner emotional crisis, and the words will likely connect with more than a few listeners out there. Falls sings, Someone tell me so I can figure it out; Something's wrong nothing's right; My life is filled with doubt. They're not overly showy or drenched in metaphors, but that no-frills approach has more of a real, humanistic aspect that is also present in many of the other tracks.
Overall Impression — 8
Considering there are quite a few tracks on the debut CD that have radio appeal, there is no doubt that Egypt Central will find a solid fan base. There is not a lot of groundbreaking material on the record, but if you're more interested in honest lyrics and catchy melodies, then Egypt Central is the band for you. The one thing the band should take into consideration next time around, however, is giving the guitarists a bit more work to do. While there are glimpses of brilliance, the songwriting doesn't ever really allow Hindman and James to truly show what they're able to offer.