Fraze Gang - 'Fraze Gang 2' (Bongo Beat Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Brighton Rob Watkins   
Friday, 24 August 2012 05:00

frazegangThe blurb on the band's website proudly states that " In an age when oversized two-chord aggression and auto-tuned talent-free anthems pass for popular music, the veteran Canadian rock collective known as Fraze Gang are taking the hard road to reach the brass ring, rather than kiss up to the latest trends in order to make an impression and a buck: yes, the quartet have chosen good old-fashioned hard work and a genuine passion for making music to carry this album 'Fraze Gang 2' forward." So does it actually live up to these bold claims?


Well before we look at this album in more detail firstly it's worth noting that Fraze Gang's roots actually go back 30 years when vocalist/guitarist Greg Fraser and bassist Steve Skreebs launched near legendary Canadian rock outfit Brighton Rock. So things are looking promising even before I give this album its first spin. 


'Saint Or Sinner' hard rocks the release into life built around a typical '80s-inspired slice of riffage and a neat melodic hook, and that same formula continues on 'In Your Face' - if you're looking for a hard rock musical nostalgia trip combined with harmonic guitar drive all wrapped around catchy little choruses than look no further than this album.


The big riffs keep on coming thick and fast, such as 'Juggernaut', thanks possibly to the killer mixing and mastering courtesy of Beau Hill (Ratt, Winger). The band slow it down a tad on 'Never Want To Say Goodbye', a kinda ballad that for me could have florished but plods and doesn't quite hit it home, although if the arrangement of the tune were different and maybe performed acoustically perhaps the number could have and should have shone. 'White Lightning' screams out an AC/DC influence that rears up at points throughout the opus, as on the six string axe attack of 'Tough Enough'.


All but two of the album's tracks were penned by Greg Fraser and those two tunes in question stand back to back, firstly in the shape of the Muddy Waters 1954 hit, 'I Just Want To Make Love To You' - with the history of the song the commercial potential of the track could have been huge but for me it lacks bite, groove and swagger, whereas on the other hand the latter of the two covers, Sugarloaf's 1975 top ten billboard hit 'Don't Call Us We'll Call You', has that aforementioned swagger that I was talking about.


'This Is It' is another ballad that this time leads the way with the acoustic guitar and has a beautiful string arrangement (Mark Lalama) to boot and a more than decent choral hook. The band close the album with 'Rampage', a track that is the closest thing musically speaking to Brighton Rock-ishness from back in the day and performed in all their rocking glory.


Fraze Gang came to arguments here.  


To pick up a copy of 'Fraze Gang 2' - CLICK HERE