"Train Wrecks, Havoc & Heartbreak" (Above the Level; 2013)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Tyson Leslie is a musician who has performed with some of the very artists you've read about on these pages: Corey Taylor (Slipknot/Stone Sour), Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big), Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge), and George Lynch (Dokken/Lynch Mob). But if you're expecting the music on his solo album, "Train Wrecks, Havoc & Heartbreak," to fall squarely into the same categories as those artists, you're in for a perhaps unexpected but pleasant surprise.

On "Train Wrecks..." Leslie delivers a solid album that delivers a little bit of everything. There's bouncy summer anthems like "Little Green Honda." There are pop rock classics like the "She Danced Under the Lights," "Suckerfish" and "88mph." And there are sweet, heartfelt ballads such as the Beatles-esque "The Last Words."

As a musician, Leslie is understandably super-talented. Everything on "Train Wrecks" is tight and vibrant and well-performed. What's perhaps more surprising is his talent as a songwriter. Leslie's songs are instantly addictive and surprisingly familiar. You'll find your toe tapping the first time you listen as though it's been the tenth time.

Although there are some driving rock tracks here, don't expect anything along the lines of the aforementioned Slipknot or even Dokken. Leslie's music is more radio friendly, sort of like a supercharged Rick Springfield, and it's got the hooks and brightness to match.

For more information, check out http://www.tysonleslie.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 2014 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Nov 2021 13:23:28 -0500 .