American Anthems Vol. 1
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Reviewed by Mike Farley
“Moonshaker” is the perfect starter – singer Dylan St. Clark and guitarist Jeff Nordstedt lead the way on an up-tempo track complete with horn embellishments. St. Clark also flexes his vocal cords on “Breakup Song,” and “Highway to the Sun” is an American anthem if there ever was one. On the latter, as well as on the ballad, “Crown Royal,” you’ll close your eyes and think of Huey Lewis – in fact, the vocal resemblance is uncanny. Other standouts are the riffy “Rich & Famous,” the jangly yet heartfelt “Oak Ridge,” and the Bon Jovi-ish “Marigold,” which may be a bit too long, but really won’t have you ejecting this CD, either. Oh, who are we kidding? The whole album is a standout. “Save Me” is another simple – yet really killer – rock song a la Springsteen.
If you’re a fan of unpretentious rock music that uses guitars and strong melodies to deliver songs that are, for lack of a better term, All-American, you’re going to love the Milwaukees. Critics have been jumping on the bandwagon already, and for good reason. American Anthems Vol. 1 is one of those records you can put on and realize that there really are some rock bands out there that still get it, even if they don’t understand geography.