Local Wire

Junction 10: Walkin' Sideways

Title: Walkin' Sideways

Basics: We're going, going back, back to country, country for this week's YAFI. And why the hell not? Country is beloved all over this fair land -- especially in the rough and rugged Southwest. 

Now, I'm not the biggest fan of country music -- but good music is good, regardless of genre. That being said, Junction 10 plays some pretty, pretty good tunes. That, and their lead singer is hardly what you'd imagine after listening to Walkin' Sideways.

Best Song: Let it be known that Junction 10 lead singer Robert Perez is the lifeblood of this band. His vocals leave an indelible mark on the album that is impossible to ignore. Perez is what young, up-and-coming male country singers should aspire to be -- the man is that good. And it just so happens to be that he's a giant of a man at 6-foot-4 and 450 pounds. All the more better -- the dude has some serious chops.

That being said, the best song is a tie between "Right Time To Leave You" and "Back In The Day." Luckily, the two songs are right next to each other in the middle of the album, helping cement the album's solid legacy. Both songs feature Perez's brilliant country vocals, but what makes both songs stand out is their different instrumentation. "Right Time To Leave You" features a bass covered in twangy molasses, it seems, helping provide a dangerously smooth, low twang to the song. "Back In The Day" sounds harmless enough, but there is some seriously intensive guitar playing going on. Dave Eras's lead guitar on this song is plenty twangy, but it's adventurously complex, to put it lightly. I've never heard a country song with such an elaborate melody.

Worst Song: The only real complaint I would have with this album is that the fourth track, "I Saw Red" is too early in the album. The song itself isn't awful, it just needs to be reordered in the scheme of the album to help its cohesion as a whole. Junction 10 create an amazing tempo from the get-go, and "I Saw Red" only derails things. It would have been perfectly fine a little later in the album.

Suggestions: As I just mentioned, a little reordering of things would help the album flow a little bit better. Now, had the band still been named Suicide Driver, as they previously were, then I'd probably suggest a name change. Alas, the band thought Suicide Driver sounded "too punk" -- because it totally does -- and changed it to the more fitting Junction 10. Aside from that, there's not much I can say to a country album as polished as Walkin' Sideways.

Grade: A

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Michael Lopez