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Aaron Buchanan and the Cult Classics - The Man with the Stars on his Knees

Aaron Buchanan and the Cult Classics
The Man with the Stars on his Knees
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 18 February 2019, 4:41 AM

AARON BUCHANAN AND THE CULT CLASSICS has been getting a lot of praise on his debut album, including the following:

''Buchanan is back on his feet and swinging from the heavens'' - Classic Rock Magazine
"This debut shows a vocalist at the top of his game" - Fireworks Magazine "Best voice of his generation" - Pure Rawk
"Making waves" - Rob Halford, Judas Priest
"8 out of 10" PowerPlay Magazine
11/10 – "An empyrean collection of songs"
"\[A] flawless debut album" - Rock N Roll Creations
"The stories aren’t simply told through lyrics alone but enveloped in the magnificence as a whole" 5 stars - Rock 'N' Load
"A monster of a release" - Rock Poser
"Not just set the bar for albums this year or even debut albums; he’s made a blueprint for albums full stop." - Moshville Times
 "\[A] cracking and confident debut album" - Uber Rock
"An enabling vision and unequivocal triumph" - Patchlord News
"An intergalactic thrill ride from the next generation of rock star" - thisishybrid
"A debut of staggering quality" - Devilsgate Media
"It's hard to see just how this album could get any better" - Antihero Magazine
"This is a fine return to the rock n roll fray" - Hard Rock Hell Magazine
"A mightily fine start to Buchanan's post Heaven's Basement musical activities" - Metal Discovery
"A debut of real substance, a serious calling card that encourages us to look forward with confidence, hope and excitement" - Guy Bellamy
"The lyrics on this album are poetic and tell many great stories. I highly recommend buying this album RIGHT NOW" - MusicLoverNews 9/10
"An excellent debut album" - MusipediaOfMetal
"If passion and desire count for anything, Aaron Buchanan and his Cult Classics are going to the very top" – MaximumVolumeMusic

Let’s find out how these words hold truth. “Show me what You’re Made of” opens up the album, with a quick shot of tender verses and an all-out chorus. “All the Things You’ve Said and Done” is a little bit longer, falling somewhere under the Hard Rock umbrella. He does indeed have a great voice and is able to negotiate the upper ranges with grace and his signature snarl. “Dancin’ Down Below” has a funky groove and features Aaron’s strong voice over a fairly standard guitar riff. The energy is there and his passion for his trade can be easily felt. “The Devil that Needs you” is a bit on the darker side, opening with harmonic vocals. The problem here is mainly the lack of original riffing. Sure, his voice is center stage and should be, but the rhythm section isn’t holding its own.

“Journey out of Here” is perhaps the tender song that can truly showcase his prowess as a singer and a songwriter. It diverts attention inward, to reflect on things around you, and brings out emotions you didn’t know you had. “The Man with the Stars on his Knees” opens with a slow and heart-felt rhythm. The chorus is full-on, and the album is starting to take shape. This is a real deal in terms of the music. “A God is no Friend” is a soulful number with anger and raging vocals that can shake you to your very core. “Left me for Dead” is a mid-tempo song without much going on, really. It leaves me to wonder how much longer he can carry the rest of the band on his shoulders. “Mind of a Mute” opens with a slow grind from a heavy rand fuzzy riff, with Aaron crooning above like the late Lane Staley. “Morals” closes the album, with a mid-tempo rocker.

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news here, but Aaron’s voice is by far the best part of this album, songwriting included. Sadly, it’s the epitome of everything that’s wrong with Rock ‘N Roll in America at this time. A great voice can really carry the insecurities of a band and American fans are all too eager to eat it up. Besides the title track, this album failed to move me at all. I’m just going to stop now and wish the band all the luck in the world, because I know how hard it is to get an album to print. It’s just not for me.

Songwriting: 4
Originality: 3
Memorability: 2
Production: 8

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Show me what You’re Made of
2. All the Things You’ve Said and Done
3. Dancin’ Down Below
4. The Devil that Needs you
5. Journey out of Here
6. The Man with the Stars on his Knees
7. A God is no Friend
8. Left me for Dead
9. Mind of a Mute
10. Morals
Lineup:
Aaron Buchanan – Vocals
Laurie Buchanan – Guitar
Tom McCarthy – Guitar
Mart Trail – Bass
Paul White – Drums
Record Label: Listenable Records
     


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