"Volume One" (Ocean Media; 2017)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

What happens when you cross the nation-wide pop rock of American Idol with hard rock? You get something like Maps to the Hollywood Scars and their "Volume One." And you know what? It ain't bad.

Led by vocalist James Durbin, who once did quite well on a season of American idol and went on to take over vocals duties at Quiet Riot, Maps to the Hollywood Scars delivers an album of solid hard rock, highlighted by the outstanding vocals of Mr. Durbin, who isn't afraid of taking chances, and addictive songs that dare you to stop listening, even though sometimes they get just a little cheesy.

"Volume One" may be an acquired taste. It reminds me of one of my favorite independent bands, Warner Drive, and that's not a bad thing. It's a hard rock record that may be too accessible, but at the same time remains irresisitble. I liked this record from the first time I played it through and it hasn't grown old on me yet ... and I've listened straight through about four times already.

Like most EP's, this one's too short at only five tracks, but the good news is that it never gets boring. In fact, it does what an EP should do - leave you wanting more.

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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 2017 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.