Tuesday, January 22, 2019
ROSS BYRON - "RED & BLACK"
REVIEW BY: ALAN HOLLOWAY
If you've not heard of Ross Byron it's no surprise, as he's a massachusetts singer songwriter who has used the online platform ReverbNation to launch this album. As such it's no surprise that great things shouldn't be expected, though it's a hell of a lot more professional than a cassette at a gig.
'Black & White' is certainly what I'd class as a 'grower'. the first couple of listens had me happy enough but on the fence about the overall grade, hovering between five of six out of ten. After a few more spins, though, I got into what Ross does much more. There's a variety of styles here, although they all come firmly under the ROCK banner. Of particular note for me is 'Cat In The Hat', which reminds me of Living Colour' with it's funky guitar and bass. Elsewhere there really is plenty to enjoy, with Ross coming over like a hybrid of Phil Vincent and Blaze Bayley. What I'm getting at there is he has Phil's creativity, happy to go wherever the muse takes him, coupled with a basic vocal style that often reminded me of Blaze, though the music is softer in general. Lyrically he's pretty good, with 'Free To Be A Slave' hitting several right notes, and once again it's a case of writing what he feels at the time, not just protest or love songs or whatever. Ross plays guitar throughout the album, and again whilst it's not electrifying it does it's job well, especially during the six and a half minute 'Job' (as in the bible dude) adding another layer of competence to an already solid piece of work.
'Red & Black' is unlikely to set the world on fire, but it might provide an essential spark. I certainly enjoyed it more than I thought I would, and once you get your head around the eclectic mix here I think you will too.
Listen to it HERE