Melissa Kucirek at Suite 101.COM reviews the new “LIVES IN DEVIL CITY” record, stating it’s “too good!”!
On the first listen, the listener does not feel the torque of rocker Sal Piamonte’s voice. That seems to be the theme ofLives in Devil City. He moves the listener into this grungy – electronic – sonic burst rock anthems. It takes a bit, but the listener gets there. He creates these pieces that while dark in the sense of not being saccharin-laced modern pop tracks, the lyrics actually have positive messages.
The journey starts with “Big Sleazy Intro,” which is nothing more than a Wolfman Jack-like jock character setting the tone. “Evil ways lead to darker days,” says this radio ham. It doesn’t quite mesh with the following track, but okay, kinda fun. (the album also ends with this character)
Like Newer INXS Tracks
“Take Me Home Tonight” is one of the album’s stand out tracks. The chorus really shakes things up and the incredible wall of sound Piamonte has orchestrated is shivering. This track is radio ready – and yet his voice is still not warmed up. In “Devil Woman” Piamonte’s voice is beginning, it seems, to charge itself more.
It’s as if he’s an Indy 500 driver, and just settling back in the back line, waiting patiently to make his move to the front. He really holds back in these first tracks – but still showcases his natural rock instincts. There is something about “Devil Woman” that reminds this writer/listener to think of some of the newer INXS tracks (with J.D. Fortune – who is also Canadian for the scorekeepers at home!).
Okay, Piamonte’s voice is sexy, but not as sensual as Fortune. There, it has been said.
In “Get Up, Get Up” Piamonte really transforms this song with his vocal command. The chorus is catchy and this track is another standout. Get this on the radio – preferably AAA or rock radio as soon as possible. Fans of the Sick Puppies might like this one, but will most likely be disappointed no poignant bass solos are featured.
“Shining Star” is almost industrial-rock, a bit NIN. A bit. This song sounds like it might be a bit demented at first, but again, Piamonte has this intriguing ability to still be calming; his energy is positive even though he’s talking about choking and spitting. Maybe if his tone had more anger to it, the song would take a complete turn. As is, it is a pretty sick track.
Overall CD Review
Overall, Lives in Devil City is a trip to Piamonte’s (albeit positive at times) underworld that garners a solid A rating. Totally unexpected at times and through and through the guy can write and belt out some very modern rock tracks. Fair warning to parents out there–Piamonte drops some F-bombs, and sometimes the lyrics might cause some confusion in some younger listeners.
Besides “Take Me Home,” “Get Up, Get Up,” “High Road” (slows things down a bit and has this killer guitar intro/tone) and “Go All Night” fans of Sick Puppies, Collective Soul, Nickelback, Escape Club, Grant Lee Buffalo and light, modern rock will dig Lives In Devil City.