ION INDIE MAGAZINE June 2017, Volume 37 - Page 101

review on paper, is one of the best CD’s I have heard in some time, whether it be by a national, regional or local band. The power that rolls out of this CD makes it tough to imagine that it is created by a three-piece unit. Kicking off with the strong vocals of Freeman on the opening track, “Rowdy and Reckless”, the blues-based rock feel just envelopes you, but make no mistake, it’s a powerful track. It is quite the way to open the offering. The track “We Owe You the Truth” asks a simple question--“Are you with us or against us?” The forcefulness of the track (without it feeling forced) keeps me engaged and undeniably WITH them. “Doorbell” is a slower-paced, thought-provoking track for me. It speaks of the difficult life is on the road and how you long for the stability of your own “doorbell”, while the friend has the steady work, family and “doorbell”…but would give it all up for dream to chase. This is a true “grass is greener on the other side” story that ponders if they switched lives, if they would truly be happy. The melodic tale of “Doorbell” is perfectly told through Freeman. “Shadows” is a track that more than anything sticks out to me for the guitar work of Ben Guiles. Perhaps it isn’t what should be, as the bass walks of Freeman and the pounding of the drums by Jonny Ross are solid and intriguing. “Junkie for You (Hey Mama)”, is just a solid, straight-up rock song, with a blazing guitar solo, enhanced by the solid backbeat created by Freeman and Ross. “Broken Record”, a well-written ballad, is sure to be a fan favorite. Showing a softer side of STT, it seizes the opportunity to feature the diversity of the band. One thing that does not lack--nor should it be lost--is the lyrical content of the track. “The Day That I Die” sends us back into the rockin’ mode. The music has an ominous sound that compliments the lyrical content or perhaps the lyrical content compliments the ominous sound of the music? “Then and Now” is a fast-paced song, that demonstrably shows the ever-changing sound that STT seems to create throughout the CD. With the nuance of a little harmonica, it throws me back into a brief reminiscent thought of the old BLACKFOOT song “Train, Train”. “Pops” is a song that should move you emotionally. It addresses death, celebrating a life that was lived and how we have all felt, or will feel these things at some point--that we are not alone, that you will begin to heal from your loss at some point. This song, honestly, put a lump in my throat, reflecting on my own experiences. “The Devil’s Choir”, the final track on the album, makes me wish there were ten more songs to listen to! It is a solid way to end the record, with blazing guitar, an annihilation of the drum kit, and strong vocals. No doubt, it will leave the listener longing to buy the CD--and additionally, wondering where Small Town Titans can be found on tour. In the meantime, I offer you the opportunity to click on any of the links below to give them a listen.