Sonic X – Thirteen (2007, Chavis Records)
- Carried Away
- If Only
- My Condition
- Seeds Of Thunder
Adam Troy – Vocals
Lawrence Falcomer – Guitars
Joseph Cumbo – Bass
Michael Marquez – Drums
Total Time – 57:37
Sonic X has just released their second album, THIRTEEN, on Chavis Records and they have unleashed a Hard Rock fury on American shores. Based in Toronto, Canada, these rockers from North of the border write some very catchy Hard Rock songs. There’s a late ’80s/eraly ’90s Hard Rock vibe to the record but it is definitely has a modern sound. Bands like Union, Bon Jovi, Skid Row, and White Lion come to mind when comparing but with a more aggressive vocal and a raw edge to the playing. The raw edge doesn’t mean bad musicianship, quite the opposite really, it’s more that the band plays to capture the audience. The music is melodic, catchy, and hard. The guitar is clearly heard thoughout, displaying some meaty riffs and intricate solos…..something bands today are starting to focus on more.
‘Crawl’ starts the record with a pounding drum and guitar combo and vocalist Adam Troy kicks in with a John Corabi-style vocal. He has the same type of grit that Corabi has but a bit higher register. ‘Wicked’ reminds me of harder Union mixed with Audioslave. Definitely a harder groove than ‘Crawl’, the vocals fitting the raw sound but they are better come the chorus with the backing vocals. Inspired solo, sounds like a track that’s being played live.
I like the hook and melody of ‘Carried Away’, especially the big backing vocals on the chorus. The guitar sound is straight out of the ’80s, crisp and clear. Very nice track, would sound great on current Rock radio stations. ‘If Only’ starts out slow with a calm guitar intro and slowly builds into the chorus. A change of pace from the first three rockers and it is done well. The song being guided by the guitar, retaining power with the drums crashing, but then falling back to the slower pace. Another great vocal performance by Adam Troy, showing that he can sing more than fast Rock tunes. The song ends with a guitar solo, something that defies the current trends.
‘My Condition’ is a heavy Bon Jovi style song. At times, Adam Troy sounds a bit like Jon Bon Jovi with that raspy delivery. It’s another good song with melodic guitar and solid harmonies. If Bon Jovi released this as their new single, it would top the charts. The chorus is catchy, has me singing right along. ‘Alive’ is another heavy guitar track with another solid vocal. The harmonies are great, as is the solo, but this song hasn’t grabbed me right away like the previous ones did, a grower for me.
‘Seeds Of Thunder’ would be a great radio track, it just sounds big. The drums are huge on this song and I like the underlying acoustic guitar with the layered electric. That always gives a song more depth. Sounds like another song influenced by Bon Jovi. ‘Evident’ has a smooth vocal, different than the rest of the album. Once the guitar kicks in the chorus, the song takes off, the rest of the time it sounds confined. I like the acoustic Country Rock ballad, ‘Shine’. Definitely another song worth radio play. It’s not even a ballad…..more like a slower song with a groove. Probably my favorite song on the album.
‘Disgrace’ is another hard rocker with an aggressive sounding vocal. It’s almost Alternative in nature. Not my favorite song on the album but I really like the bass and drums on this one. The soft guitar intro to ‘Breathe’ really brings the band back to more ’80s inspired music. This is a ballad with a bit of an edge courtesy of Falcomer’s guitarwork. ‘Breathe’ would have been huge in 1989 and definitely has an audience in 2007 for people who actually like melodic songs. Another winner.
Ending the album is ‘Signs’. It’s mid-tempo and has a good main riff that chugs right along. Troy’s raspy vocal reminds me of Mike Tramp (White Lion) from his solo work. This song clocks in at seven minutes plus and lets the band stretch out musically. Solid playing all around, Sonic X displaying that they are a cohesive unit. At the five minute mark, the song goes straight to an acoustic interlude followed by a quick keyboard strike. Silence ensues for fifteen seconds before the band kicks in again to a Hard Rock instrumental that wraps up the song.
Sonic X hits hard with THIRTEEN, mixing Hard Rock from the ’80s with today’s musical trends. Great musicianship from all the members and a strong vocal performance from Adam Troy, who shows he can pull off some different styles. The band performs well, the songs are well written, and there is a catchiness to the music that makes the listener pay attention. Lawrence Falcomer’s guitarwork really hits the mark showing that bands today should actually PLAY their instrument rather than bang away at it. Favorite songs here: ‘Crawl’, ‘Carried Away’, ‘Shine’, ‘Seeds Of Thunder’ and ‘Breathe’. All in all, a solid album by a band to watch closely…..THIRTEEN is a great listen.
Thanks to Lori at Chavis Records for bringing Sonic X to my attention and providing me with the materials to write this review.