"Vices" (Shrunken Head Records; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Glancing at the cover of Straitjacket's "Vices," you might think you're about to listen to a hardcore or death metal band with religious (or sacrilegious) undertones. If you haven't read through the tracklisting, you'll be very surprised to discover that, not only is the band more classic rock than anything else, but the entire CD is loaded with cover songs.

Featured on "Vices" are Straitjacket's covers of The Police, Cheap Trick, Chicago and many more. Most of the time, you'll be scratching your head, wondering why the band bothered covering the song at all; it sounds so close to the original. And, when the band ventures outside of the original recording, there are mixed results. Their cover of The Police's "King of Pain" is kind of lackluster while the heavier cover of Rick James "Superfreak" kicks some serious ass.

The band is solid throughout and lead vocalist Chad Campbell sometimes sounds a little like Michael Sweet from Stryper (in other words, he's got some pipes).

All in all, an interesting, if not must-have, album that showcases a band with some real talent.

Straitjacket: Chad Campbell lead vocals; James MacEachern lead & rhythm guitars; Mark Piraino bass guitar: Rob MacEachern drums & percussion.

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 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:22 -0400.