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"Penny Black" (Cordoozle Music)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

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Penny Black vocalist / guitarist Russ Graham is a former member of KILLER DWARFS and that band's influence is clearly heard on the debut album of Graham's new band (I use "new" loosely here because Penny Black has been writing songs and playing showcases for nearly five years now). "Penny Black" is a collection of guitar-driven songs with pop-ish melodies and smooth vocals, given an extra oomph with solid bass and drum backbones.

Graham and Reaume share most of the songwriting credit here and that collaboration is apparent in the music. Penny Black seems to have a strong focus on the brand of music they want to play and this debut album is consistently strong throughout. For my money, the first track, "Come On," is the CD's best, with "Happy Everyday" and its irresistible riffage coming in a close second. 

Like the Dwarfs, Penny Black may not be to everyone's taste. Many will say the CD is "too mellow." However, if the genre of melodic rock is to your liking, Penny Black is good stuff. Fans of the Dwarfs will almost definitely find something to like here.

Penny Black is: Russ Graham - vocals / guitars; Gino Scarpelli - guitars; Fred Duvall - drums; Dave Reaume - bass.

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Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07 Mar 2021 19:26:13 -0500.