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by Martin Popoff


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Fresh Metal

Galactic Cowboys - Let It Go
(Metal Blade)

A typically fresh and inspiring swansong for what was one of metal's bolder propositions, Galactic for a decade providing positive lyrics within an amalgam of punk, thrash, metal and Beatle-esque pop. But the world never understood and the records got more casual and maybe a bit cynical (see doppel-gang King's X), and now they will be dissolved with little resolved. On parting, the band take shots at negativity in hard rock (Disney's Spinnin' and Flag) as well as one more anti-abortion jab, also in Disney's Spinnin'. Ty Tabor helps out in an unspecified role, and Jerry Gaskill drums most of the thing, so with a stretch, you could call this a gang effort, and a beauty at that, 74 minutes of amplified happy juice. The metal's a pop-tastic rough ride as usual, elegantly hooky, but also once more, it's the ballads that grab and affect you, Another Hill and Life And Times perhaps pointing to a great future career for the boys, maybe as Galactic Cowgirls or Galactic Boytoys or Goo Goo Cowboys or Noel Gallagher Cowboys or something. The untitled intro is quite fun also, the band showing their "new rap direction" before slamming into a syrup and butter-smothered stack of power chords. Maybe Let It Go is not my fave Galactic pack, if only for the impossible to surmount situation of it not coming at me in my 20's. But objectively speaking, it's as good as any, and that is saying about ten pages worth of praise I could pile upon this lamentably packed-in Houston institution. The record ends with The Record Ends, a bitter apology for breaking up, punctuated by a nightmarish trainwreck of a close (think Funhouse's L.A. Blues) which I'm sure speaks volume(s).
Rating 9

Various Artists - Rebellion: A Tribute To Queensryche
(Dwell)

Best stuff on here is when rough 'n' tumble bands correct Queensryche timid recordings and yes, Tate's now quite annoying superhero vocals. So first track, Deliverance, by Black Symphony wins the game. But then many on here manage that first part, bulking up the band's often ponderous, fusspot performances, and then proceed to show us how close their power poop vocalist can match lick for slobber ol' yelplungs. And speaking of Tate, not sure how Dwell got the rights to nick a shot from Tate's Rage For Order photo shoot for the main cover shot (that's a funny!). But enough guffaws, back to the music. Quite like Rewind's Jet City Woman, again, because of the vocals, this time sort of Axl meets Emperor. And I'll excuse Ion Vein for the Tate grate, because they are playing my favourite 'Ryche song, also handling it with a sense of groove. Orange Moon and Darkside are clearly outclassed by the rest of the pack here, the sum total which are nobodies trying for a break in a novel way. Best of luck!
Rating 6.5

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