"Smoke & Mirrors" (Masonic Records; 2005)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Smoke & Mirrors" is a fun, heavy rock'n'roll CD that plays a little like a cross between Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Guns N'Roses. Yeah, it's kind of a weird combo. But, for the most part, it works.

With a sound that's not quite Grunge (but comes close); not quite metal (but comes close) and not quite hard rock (but comes close), "Smoke & Mirrors" rolls along at an even pace, delivering solid track after solid track. With a vocalist who at times sounds a little like David Bowie (!) and at others a little like Phil Anselmo (both early- and late-era Pantera) and songs that are well-written and engaging (if not particularly original or outstandingly memorable), "Smoke & Mirrors" entertains throughout.

One of my favorite tracks here is the band's cover of Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild" (which I consider to be one of rock's rare perfect songs). Dysinformation's version isn't one of the very best I've heard, but it's far from the worst. To bastardize a quote from elsewhere: "Any 'Born to Be Wild' is good 'Born to Be Wild.'"

Interestingly, "Smoke & Mirrors" grows on you considerably with repeated listenings. If may not make your regular playlist but you won't be reaching for the stop button on your CD player anywhere throughout this disc either.

Dysinformation: Pete "Rocker Pete" Mainzer; Andy Beech; Rob McPhaden; Chris Womble.

For more information, check out http://www.dysinformationrocks.com

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 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 26 Sep 2022 12:18:29 -0400.