"Get Real" (Self-produced; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

There's something instantly attractive about Altered State's "Get Real." You'll like this solid rock'n'roll record from the very first track to the last.

Much of the credit has to go to vocalist Lorna Dowell, whose sultry vocals sound like the perfect cross between the jaunty attitude of Joan Jett and the slick, sly style of Chrissie Hynde and Alanis Morrisette. Dowell's singing style is irresistible and she'll grab you from the very first note.

But Lorna's not in this game alone. Equal credit must go to the guitars of Biman Bharadwaj, which run the gamut here from Pink Floyd hypnotic to straight forward KISS-style rock'n'roll, as well as the backbone of bassist Jim Doyle and drummer Dean Walsh who keep the songs running smoothly despite varying tempos throughout. The band gets collective credit for the above average songwriting which is perhaps why it's so balanced throughout. These songs will hook you and surprise you at the same time, a rare feat, but one to savor when you find it.

In addition to a number of great originals (my favorites include "Get Real," "Need a Vacation" and "Skeletons in the Closet"), "Get Real" also includes a cover version of Alice Cooper's classic "Only Women Bleed," given greater poignancy here with Lorna's emotional delivery and the band's warmer performance.

Fans of 80s-style, female-fronted rock will find "Get Real" a perfect addition to their collection.

Altered State: Lorna Dowell - lead vocals; Biman Bharadwaj - guitar, vocals; Jim Doyle - bass, vocals; Dean Walsh - drums, percussion, vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2023 21:56:13 -0400.