Temptation Come My Way
Mono Vs. Stereo, 2007
REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/20/2007
There is a lot of promise and effort here, as the Showdown wants you to know what metal should be. The songs are rooted in the Pyromania and Love at First Sting era in that the focus is on songwriting, which results in simple riffs (think Stone Temple Pilots) and few guitar solos.
In fact, "competent" would be a good way to describe this disc. There's the occasional guitar lick that would make fans of Jake E. Lee or Warren DeMartini smile, but not a lot of flash. Vocalist David Bunton is competent and only strains to the edge of his range in the charismatic strut of "Breath of the Swamp." His approach to the lyrics on "Spitting in the Wind" works well for the band.
Of course, that goes with the assumption that you can tolerate the lyrics of "Spitting in the Wind." Sample: "I don't care if you don't mind / if you don't mind that I don't care / so we'll just cruise through these lines and keep spitting in the wind." Fortunately, the riff sounds like an AC/DC reject and works well for setting up the song's structure. "I Victim (Here's to the Year)" shows the band at another end of their spectrum, opening with a two-layer guitar riff that the Scorpions could get into with vigor.
Also, it seems that every band needs to lay down a cover to show their range, and here they go with "Dust in the Wind," which should be off limits. "Carry On Wayward Son" would have been a much better choice, but such is life. The highlight is "Head Down," which makes me think that this band could be something more.
Because while the production level is high and the material is presented crisply, the band is missing that element of greatness. The material is familiar and reminds the listener of a cover band that decided to write original songs. What would make this band great is to its inner voice and write material that isn't so based upon the bands that the Showdown uses for inspiration.