Tragik – Outlaw (2009, indepentdent release)
- …..In the Name Of…..
- Two Timer
- On The Other Side
- You Are Everything To Me
- What You Give
- Everything Changes
- Forgive Me
- Just Can’t Get Enough
- Who’s Gonna Make The First Move
- Go Down Fightin’
- Give It Up
Phil Vincent – Vocals, Keyboards, Rhythm Guitar
Damian D’Ercole – Lead & Rhythm Guitars, Bass
Dirk Phillips – Drums & Percussion
Steven Albanese – Lead Guitar (tracks 5, 7, 11)
Billy Roux – Lead Guitar (tracks 3 & 12)
Paul Colombo – Lead Guitar (track 9) & Rhythm Guitar (tracks 2, 8, 9, 12)
Producers: Phil Vincent & Dirk Phillips
Total Time = 53:36
It’s always really cool to get an album from a local artist…..Phil Vincent has been a part of the local Rhode Island/Massachusetts scene for a long time, his debut solo album, RISING, was released in 1996. Using his extensive talents as a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Phil has also been a catalyst in the bands Circular Logik and Tragik. The first Tragik album, POETIC JUSTICE, was released in 2007 and now the follow-up, OUTLAW, has hit the shelves.
Taking a quick glance at the cover (you can’t help it!), one might expect an ’80s Hard Rock feast but the album starts off unexpectedly with a piano-based ballad ‘…In The Name Of…’, nothing like throwing in a curveball right away! I expected to get a rocking track right off the bat but instead there is this very melodic pure ballad that sounds a bit like ‘Love Walks In’ from the Hagar-era Van Halen crossed with some mid ’70s Queen. Listen to the guitar solo, it screams Brian May, very well done. The pace picks up right away with the uptempo ‘Two Timer’ and ‘On The Other Side’. Both songs are heavy on guitar but they stay melodic and have that hook that drags you in and gets you singing along. Both songs remind me a little of Dokken, especially ‘On The Other Side’ which sounds like something off SHADOWLIFE (1997) or LONG WAY HOME (2002). ‘You Are Everything To Me’ is the second ballad, although it does Rock up with the guitar solo, and it has this quirky keyboard sequence running through it. The sound gets filled out after the solo and it’s better for it, I wouldn’t mind hearing the guitar through the whole song.
‘What You Give’ is similar to ‘You Are Everything To Me’ and is very melodic in a Beatles/Journey/Styx kind of way but with a heavier classic rock style guitar throughout. Listen for the guitar solos on this one and try to pick out a little Brian May again, very cool. I like how the song builds up and by the end really rocks with a second solo. More heavy Melodic Rock on ‘Everything Changes’ with plenty of guitar and vocal harmonies…..one of my favorites on the album. I wasn’t sure what to think about ‘Forgive Me’ because the opening piano and percussion had a something of a slow dance beat to it but as the song progresses the guitars kick in and the song gets heavier. It stays in it’s melodic mid-tempo groove but has a lot of bite to it while retaining the piano throughout…..another unpredictable track that has become a favorite on the album. Same thing with ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’, I wasn’t sure about it at first but repeated listens has hooked me in with it’s melody and harmonies with heavy modern guitar. It reminds me of the direction on the latest Night Ranger album HOLE IN THE SUN, modern & melodic.
‘Loneliness’ is slow and brooding and has this early ’80s Rock thing to it, not my favorite off OUTLAW but definitely something different. Same thing for ‘Who’s Gonna Make The First Move’, it has that early ’80s ballad sound kind of like Foreigner or Journey and is definitely a companion track to the album opener ‘In The Name Of…’. Tragik really has a knack for capturing that AOR/MHR sound that was big two decades ago and is missing from today’s radio, ‘Who’s Gonna Make The First Move’ is perfect for popular Rock radio. While the melodic side has been displayed throughout the album, the band doesn’t forget to throw out the Hard Rock and the final two songs (‘Go Down Fightin’ and ‘Give It Up’) definitely conclude the record with some serious power chords and solos recalling some early Dokken, a little Bon Jovi, and a touch of Sammy Hagar.
It’s always good to hear an album from a band in the local scene and getting a listen to the latest Tragik has to offer proves that good solid Rock music hasn’t died here in the southern New England area. What I like most about OUTLAW, and Tragik as a band, is that there is a lot of diversity to the sound. There are smooth ballads mixed in with driving rockers mixed with powerful mid-tempo tracks…..the band retains the heavy guitars throughout and uses the piano/keyboards in many tracks as a base. The guitar tones especially grabbed me throughout the album and I was definitely trying to pick out some of the influences. There are a lot of different styles to enjoy here but if AOR/Melodic Hard Rock is your thing, then this is an album to get a hold of. I grew up on Metal but also the Journeys, Bon Jovis and Night Rangers of the Rock world so this is definitely an album I’ve been playing constantly. Now I have to track down Tragik’s first album POETIC JUSTICE (2007) and give that a spin!
Favorite Songs: ‘Two Timer’, ‘Everything Changes’, ‘Forgive Me’, ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’, ‘Who’s Gonna Make The First Move’