The boys of E.W.I. have certainly had time to get their chemistry together--having played together in the band for five years (beginning when they were still in their earlier years of high school), this band has been the project molding the four members' artistic talents. I got into them fairly early on in their career, so when I got ahold of this CD, I was anxious to hear the latest result of their ongoing maturity in style.
         As always, I was incredibly impressed. The band's last full-length, 2002's
Rock N' Roll Hall of Shame, had been a breakthrough success for the group, and in situations like this it's important to see if a follow-up record can match the creative energy of its predecessor. The Dirty Sexy Secrets of a Rock n' Roll Lifestyle left absolutely no doubt that this is a band that's far from running out of steam.
         Even in their early 20's, the members of the band display remarkably developed talent. The two guitarists could easily hold their own with most respectable masters of the instrument, and if you think you've heard riffs before that are similar to those played on this album, you've probably heard a song or two by Bon Jovi.
         The opening track, "Times Are Changing," tells you right away that this isn't just Random Rock Band #614. This is a band that satisfies the soul's occasional need to rock out. The title of the CD isn't misleading at all, and from the first few riffs to the end of track three, you know you're not disappointed.
         With catchy pop vocals layered over the driven guitar sound, you get a great feel for a band that has truly embraced a tired genre and brought a rock spirit to it. "These Moments" is slightly more reminiscent of their gentler influences, but the band won't let you relax for too long before thrusting you into the headbanging intensity brought back to life in "Long Live Rock N' Roll."
         This band has taken the catchiness of pop-punk and given it an edge that is normally only seen in more hardcore groups. After you've given it a good listen, I highly suggest going back through it again and paying close attention to the drums on each track, as they're an impressive aspect that can easily be forgotten beneath powerful guitar and bass.
         It's been an amazing experience to follow this band as it continues to grow. With tracks that churn out guitar solos you never thought would be contained within such catchy tracks, this isn't a record that will leave you bored. The record isn't necessarily a new concept, and not everyone will be willing to listen close enough to distinguish it from other rock bands, but
The Dirty Sexy Secrets of a Rock n' Roll Lifestyle is still something just a bit above most other attempts to capture the style, and I would definitely recommend you shelling out some cash to purchase the album or to watch them bring the rock live.
R.S.. '05
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1) Times Are Changing
2) The Dirty
3) Maybe Tomorrow
4) Days Without Me
5) Let This Happen
6) These Moments
<< 7) Long Live Rock N' Roll >>
8) On My Own
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