Sound — 8
Ten tracks released June 2013 on Olex Music. Artist is based in Gloucester, MA, USA. Tom Hauck is the former guitar player of The Atlantics, the Boston-based punk/pop band of the late 1970s. "Tomorrow's Gonna Be a Better Day" leads off with a strong gospel/rock feel that sounds like U2 meets the Stones. "Frankenstein" is the heaviest track, guitar-intensive with a break that references The White Stripes. "Flash" is a straight rocker with a guitar riff reminiscent of the Stones "2,000 Light Years from Home." "My Baby" has a rockabilly/T.Rex feel. "Fakin' It" flirts with rap with a singalong chorus. Overall the CD offers solid rhythm guitars with succinct breaks. Tom Hauck plays all the instruments himself and co-produces. Classic rock meets alternative rock, with an emphasis on traditionally crafted four-minute pop songs with singalong choruses.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrics are good, and offer variety. Two covers are offered on "Afterlife": A note-for-note recreation of the 1968 studio version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash," and a surprising Black Crows/rootsy guitar version of the Lil Wayne ballad "How to Love," proving that crossovers still exist. "Everybody's Gotta Go" takes the listener to the country for a wry commentary on the inevitability of death. "Bang Yer Head" is an essay on creativity that suggests Pink Floyd meeting Green Day. "Tomorrow's Gonna Be a Better Day" offers gospel hope with strange ambiguity ("Nothing lasts forever than man has made...") "Flash" evokes "Dancing in the Streets" with the promise of a universal vibe.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall impression is positive. Hauck is primarily a guitar player and builds his songs around strong guitar riffs. Tracks feature multiple guitars and keyboards blended together in one solid wall of sound. Production is big and the CD is mastered LOUD. Vocals are confident and expressive. Hauck was responsible for "Lonelyhearts," the biggest hit by The Atlantics, the seminal 1970s pop/punk band that was at the forefront of the new music scene in Boston in 1976 and beyond. He dropped out of sight in the 1990s, and resurfaced in 2011 with his first studio release "Pistonhead."