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Rnr – Review

posted February 24, 2016, 1:59 am by | Filed Under | comment Comments Off on Rnr – Review

Chris Colepaugh and the Cosmic Crew go back to 1996. Twenty years later they are still playing, and while the make up of the band has changed, and Colepaugh himself has occasionally branched out into other projects, including an appearance at the Sochi Winter Olympics with Roch Voisine, he and the Cosmic Crew have always remained true to their rocking roots. RnR is the band’s eighth studio album. This is a band with an impressive history and a catalogue to match.

As you might expect, there is a solid feel to the album in the sense that you can immediately tell that this is a work by musicians who are familiar with each other, confident in their abIlities, jointly and severally, and know the material they are playing and the part each of them plays in it. There is a kind of dixie feel to the sound and Colepaugh’s voice sounds like a smoother version of the late Ronnie Van Zant. But there is something else there, bringing a strong influence, namely a warm and familiar kind of rock, exemplified by the guitar hooks, of the AC/DC school of rock.

If you have heard the band’s previous albums then you know what you are letting yourself in for and Chris Colepaugh and the Cosmic Crew do not disappoint in that regard. There are some fine solos across the album, with the brief one on "All These Faces" standing out because of the tone. But what stands out, as you might expect, are the riffs. Driving, pulsating riffs of the kind which get even the most jaded of us on our feet, picking up and dusting down that old air guitar and headbanging away to our hearts content. "The Ghosts" and "Stateless" probably provide the best examples on the album.

"One Time Friend" is the track which proves the rule, so to speak, by being an exception. More melodic, especially the guitar jangling at the end, it is dominated by a militaristic drum beat, and differs from the rest of the tracks thereby. "Thinking about You" is a slower number which makes effective use of a slide guitar. The album ends with "When My Baby’s Beside Me" and if there was a track which highlighted the AC/DC impression this is it. Not as loud and without the overt heaviness which characterises the long-lived antipodean rockers, that riff is pure Angus Young. Even more so than "My World" which first drew my attention to the similarity, this is rock from the well-established, tried and trusted school.

There can be no doubt that if you like your rock to drive you and push the right buttons, then Chris Colepaugh and the Cosmic Crew will deliver just what you need with RnR. It would be hard to say anything negative if that is your expectation. If you expect more, a little innovation, some variety perhaps, then you may find this album is less to your taste.


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