By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Warren Von Kruck has been floating around the Island scene for some time now, singing lead vocals for the popular band Talkbox. But those pop-star days are gone for this Patchogue resident. Von Kruck has hit the road, with guitar in hand, "to escape the more alternative driven music of today and return to where the soul can be found." His site on MP3.com displays an enticing amalgam of Jimi-meets-Stevie-Ray virtuosity and metal edged rhythm and groove think of your favorite long-haired rocker from the late '80s lending his vox to an in-your-face blues squad.
This change in musical direction most likely grew out of Von Kruck's recent experiences of playing with the likes of Ace Frehley, Slash, Warren Hayes and Leslie West. "M.I.A." updates the tried and true heavy-metal ballad song structure and finds Von Kruck finessing his testosterone-driven guitar solo with a grace and style that would make Yngwie Malmsteen proud. Despite the fretted pyrotechnics that will undoubtedly impress headbangers, electric blues is this guy's specialty.
"Daddy's Working Overtime" deserves particular attention as both unique and the best track on the album. Von Kruck serves up wailing guitar licks à la Hendrix's "Freedom" over hot buttered Texas-styled blues.
Von Kruck's "Two Timing Blues" relies on some mean and gritty solos, while "The Way She Does" leans a bit harder on the '80s influences of screaming guitars and screeching vocals. "Set Me Free," the most straightforward rocker offered here, addresses the issues of acceptance, trust and reliance during not-so-friendly times. Though he has a touring band, Von Kruck plays all of the instruments on the album. Tunes like the slow-grinding "For a Change" and the gleefully thumping "Super Human Man" display his talent and versatility. Unfortunately, the music found here also highlights Von Kruck's biggest deficiency: Most of the songs sound too similar to one another and they grow stale quickly. Despite his flaws, Von Kruck has a viable sound and enough talent to be molded into a powerhouse solo performer.
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