CD Reviews

Jac Dalton - 'Powderkeg' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 04, 2015    
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One of the best representatives of the Melodic Rock genre released in 2015.

For some reason or another – be it high expectations or simply fatigue – the so-called "third album syndrome" is not generally avoided by many artists. However, some are also able to defy this recurring phenomenon; each of their three consecutive albums being a step forward rather than corner cutting.

U.S.-born Aussie singer/song-writer Jac Dalton returns so as to prove his adhesion to the latter rather than the former group with his new album 'Powderkeg'. If there was anything left to prove after the stylistic volte-face of his second album 'Icarus', the follow-up to it should put the doubt to rest.

Change within sound aesthetics between the two preceding albums of Dalton was perhaps not drastic but noticeable. In the case of 'Powderkeg', it picks up more or less where the sophomore effort left off. But this time around all knobs are simply turned up to eleven!

The opening eponymous track is a clear testimony to this with its massive, keyboard-laden Melodic Hard Rock sound which blends contemporary, polished production with a distinct 1980's vibe. The rest of the material doesn't fall behind as well – whether it's a catchy up-tempo driven number with powerhouse chant and dynamic instrumental background ('Roll With The Punches', 'HardCore Superstar', 'Can't UnRock Me') or a moving ballad with a message ('One Heart / One Land').

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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His tradition of paying homage to the Classic Rock pantheon is continued on 'Powderkeg' too, this time a gem of choice being Aerosmith's 'Sweet Emotion'. A bold but brilliant take on it sees Dalton gravitating towards straightforward Rock aesthetics rather than slightly Bluesy flavour of the original version. AOR-ish tune 'Just Enough To Believe' is another reference in terms of lyrics – expressed less explicitly perhaps, but if you grew up in the 1980s or are familiar with Rick Springfield's catalogue (or both), you should get the trick right away.

As explosive as its title rightfully suggests, 'Powderkeg' is another step forward on Melodic Rock path for Dalton and his Aussie ensemble. A logical continuation to its predecessor music-wise, yet even stronger than the aforesaid sophomore album, it combines the classic and the modern into a pulsating, lively musical entity.

It is certainly the best release from Jac Dalton so far as well as being one of the best representatives of its genre released in 2015.

Alexandra Mrozowska

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