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Koritni - 'Welcome To The Crossroads' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/26/9c/dc/2622_KORITNIwelcometothecrossroads_1345146091.jpg Hot

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Firing with the blues, but ricocheting with melodic rock energy.

What is it about these bands from Down-Under that makes them so adept at offering up prime-time, feel-good rock of the highest order? Well whatever it is, Koritni have it in abundance! Album number three from Lex Koritni and his band of rabble rousers finds ‘Welcome To The Crossroads’ absolutely firing with the blues, but ricocheting with melodic rock energy - thankfully they are no AC/DC clones.

Kicking in with ‘Down At The Crossroads’, which features a guest performance from Jeff Scott Soto, is a mighty statement of intent, opening the album with the catchiest riff this side of an epidemic, spitting fire, smoke and blues in equal quantity. Electric Mary’s Rusty Brown shows up on track two ‘Better Off Dead’, adding his muscular tones to a mightily punchy track. But don’t be fooled, whether it is JSS, Rusty or Jeff Waters of Annihilator, who features on ‘TV’s Just A Medium’, Koritni stand proud on the strength of their own exhilarating mix of boogie, blues and catchy as hell choruses. The pure shot of adrenalin that is ‘Sydney In The Summertime’ has me boarding the plane to experience it in person, while ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ is a melodic demand to lose yourself in a shout along chorus which punches through the riffed up verse. Throughout Koritni sings his heart out, handling the blues and the rock aspects of this album with skill and ease. However when he is fronting songs with such stunning guitar work and his own crystal clear production (the album was mixed by Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Aerosmith, Van Halen), Dean Mahler (Nickelback, Bryan Adams) and Daniel Leffler), then half the battle has already been won before he even stepped up to the microphone.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The intensity is intentionally dropped on occasion, with the heartfelt ‘Hold On’ proving Koritni can pull things in, giving an almost commercial power ballad feel that in days gone by would have hit written all over it, whereas ‘Sometimes’ and ‘Lost For Words’ are the sort of thing that Black Stone Cherry and the likes have been getting air-play with for some time now. Good though these songs may be - and they are - Koritni are at their best when they are mixing the groove of AC/DC with the commercial nous of Van Halen and freight-train power of Black Country Communion, as they do on ‘Party’s Over’ and ‘Money Talks, It Says Goodbye’.

The cover of ‘Welcome To The Crossroads’, courtesy of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Marillion artist Mark Wilkinson, rather stunningly depicts a blind-bluesman torn over whether to sell his soul for rock and roll. However there’s no doubting Koritni have already made their trade. Redemption for these Hell-raising rockers isn’t an option - where do I sign to join them?

Steven Reid

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