Fireworks

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Mark Slaughter - 'Reflections In A Rear View Mirror' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/cd/e8/86/Mark-Slaughter-Reflections-In-A-Rear-View-Mirror-83-1442857270.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 21, 2015    
 
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A superb album to whet the appetite for a future Slaughter band album.

It's been sixteen long years since 'Back To Reality' was released – Slaughter's (the band) last album. Since then, they have continued to tour sporadically during summer months, particularly with the 'Rock Never Stops' tour and the odd Rock cruise, whilst Mark Slaughter has immersed himself in television music work, producing and generally taken in other aspects of the entertainment business.

Wishing to get creative again, Mark Slaughter wrote 'Never Givin' Up' for the U.S. military that he holds in high esteem over a year ago and released it in digital format. It was essentially prime-time Slaughter with lots of harmony backing vocals and an obvious Nashville influence (he lives in there). He performed everything himself bar the drums with old friend and two-time Las Vegas Rock Hall Of Fame inductee Mark Goodin stepping in.

'...Up' features on this first, self-produced solo release alongside a few other songs that bear comparison to Slaughter; the mid-paced 'Away I Go', despite its lack of trademark high notes and screams, and the contemporary mid-paced 'The Real Thing' that shows what a good guitarist Mark Slaughter actually is.

What I like about the album as a whole is its sheer inventiveness – it's full of ideas and offers a diverse range of musical styles with Mark Slaughter's solid instrumentation throughout and fabulous drumming from the aforementioned Goodin. His expressive Latin beats and amazing cymbal work light up the up-tempo 'Miss Elainious' whilst the dirty riff gives it muscle.

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The acoustic, mellow, Countrified 'Carry Me Back Home' and the instrumental 'In Circle Flight', with its piano and Native American pipes, offer a more reflective stance, as does the ballad 'Deep In Her Heart' with its weeping melody guitar.

But it is Michael Wagener's mixing and mastering that gives the album a truly immense sound. 'Baby Wants' has a subtle Led Zeppelin feel with great guitar, smooth melodies and lots of synth layers atop a superb mixed Jazz and Hard Rock beat.

'Don't Turn Away' is very Nelson-like and features a duet with Wagener's second engineer colleague Gena Johnson – a mix of super melodic Nelson harmonies and an Enuff Z Nuff chorus for good measure. Similarly 'Somewhere Isn't Here' has those bass-led EZN cool stylings with gorgeous harmonies and a great smile-inducing, super melodic chorus (again) superbly mixed by Wagener.

'Velcro Jesus' is another equally interesting song with its rhythmic Rocking vibe and catchy chorus full of backing vocals skirting in T-Ride and Saigon Kick (Jeff Bland was previously in SK) territory with a suitable overblown synth choral ending.
All in all what Mark Slaughter has produced here is a superb album to whet the appetite for a future Slaughter band album.

Carl Buxton

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