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Sonic X Band - Fly Around the World Award winner

Sonic X Band
Fly Around the World
by Kira Schlechter at 19 January 2020, 9:27 AM

When you cut your teeth on good hard rock, as most of us metalheads did, hearing it anew in the form of a newer band takes you back, and in a good way. Toronto’s SONIC X has done exactly that on their latest EP. They released their self-titled debut in 2004; their most recent release was the EP “Fall From Grace” in 2015. The follow-up EP, “Fly Around the World,” features Joey on vocals while original singer Adam Troy is on an indefinite hiatus. As good as this effort is with him, let’s hope the singing situation stays as is. The opening track, “Fly Around the World,” shows the versatility of Joey’s muscular voice, with its occasional rasp and great vibrato. He stretches his range in the verses, starting off low, then gradually reaching higher in his register, which builds tension and drama. With its layers of guitar harmony and moody organ, it’s reminiscent of ENUFF Z’NUFF minus the hippie trippiness.

They strip the chorus down at the end for one go-round, making it tender and despairing, then build it up as before. It’s loosely a power ballad, but it’s more than that, it’s just a great song with “hit” written all over it. It warranted three almost consecutive listens – that’s how good it is. In the more uptempo “Leave Me Alone,” which seems to be about our society of surveillance and disregard for privacy, the chorus slows and gets thoughtful and musing, an interesting treatment that serves to drive home the point. The funky “Nasty Weather,” has a huge groove a la EXTREME, and that organ is still there in the background, to great effect. It’s one of those do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do songs – Joey urges “smell all the roses” and “get all the love,” but adds, “Don’t be like me, I’m like nasty weather.”

Here, as in previous tracks, Joey switches up and experiments with the chorus melody again at the end, never allowing anything to get monotonous. That’s the mark of a quality singer, someone who can take liberties with the material and be creative while maintaining its integrity. The subtle changes in groove and tempo in “Sail Alone,” especially the casual shamble of the chorus, are sophisticated and add texture – the verses have one feel, the chorus another, and it’s a really clever touch. The EP wraps with the sarcastic, self-deprecating “My Wonderful Life.” It’s heavy enough, powered by a crisp, bouncy guitar riff, and has plenty of heft, but their melodic sensibility – and Joey’s croon – makes it soar.

This is a supremely solid effort – a full album is definitely warranted.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Fly Around the World
2. Leave Me Alone
3. Nasty Weather
4. Sail Alone
5. My Wonderful Life
Lineup:
Joey Greco - Drums, Vocals
Lawrence Falconer - Guitar
Joseph Cumbo - Bass
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 17 February 2020
 

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