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Articles Home » 2009 Articles » Tall Stories - 2009 Skyscraper
 
Tall Stories - 2009 Skyscraper



ARTIST: Tall Stories
ALBUM: Skyscraper
LABEL: Frontiers
SERIAL: FRCD 399
YEAR: 2009

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Steve Augeri - vocals * Jack Morer - guitars * Kevin Totoian - bass * Anthony Esposito - guitars * Rodney Howard - drums * Bobby Rondinelli - drums * Nir Z - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 All Of The World * 02 Clementine * 03 Eternal Light * 04 No Justice * 05 Original Sin * 06 Pictures Of Summer * 07 River Rise * 08 Stay * 09 Superman * 10 Tomorrow * 11 You Shall Be Free

RATING:


Background
Readers of this site will be familiar with New York outfit Tall Stories, who raised a few eyebrows with their self titled debut album back in 1991. Though the band were formed through the height of the hair metal era in 1987, it wasn't until the next decade that they found favour. The fact that lead singer Steve Augeri then went on to sing with fellow NY band Tyketto and spent nearly a decade with mega rockers Journey kinda overshadowed the Tall Stories 'story' up until now. Despite the grunge movement going on at the time, the band did write a bit of material during the 1993-1995 era, and now in 2008/2009 it is resurrected, with some tweaking going on in the drum department due to the unavailability of original drummer Tom De Faria. Their comeback album 'Skyscraper' is a likeable earthy affair, not as glossy as the debut understandably, with a stripped down approach. AOR it certainly isn't, try a band like Beggars And Thieves mixed with mid 70's Led Zeppelin.


The Songs
Most songs work, a couple don't, but that's OK.

Opening up with 'All Of The World', Tall Stories start out mildly, politely even, but they find their feet by songs end.

Jack Morer's riffs are solid on 'Clementine', the song sounding as if its origins come from the early 90's era.

Augeri pushes the vocal envelope on 'Eternal Light', it too sounds as if it could fit on that debut album with ease. The song is more about vocals and riffs, and little in the way of solos and fills.

The groovy licks found on 'No Justice' have a 'cowpoke' sound to them that is both charming and cool.

'Original Sin' is full of shifty guitar tones and a near psychedelic sound going back to the 60's, which doesn't present the band at its best. Quirky it might be, but I think annoying might be a better description.

'Pictures Of Summer' swings the acoustic guitar effectively, combined with an overuse of percussion. Again, this takes you back to a different era in time.

Augeri's time in Journey must've rubbed off on 'River Rise'. The track has a sense of dynamism that (to be honest) is rarely replicated on 'Skyscraper'.

Despite the tangled web of bass lines for the first 30 secs, 'Stay' has a line of aggression that is modern sounding. The guitar tone still takes some getting used to.

'Superman' is a slow blues based track with harmonica adding to the overall vibe. I didn't think much of this one unfortunately.

'Tomorrow' is much better, being described elsewhere as similar to U2. I'm not sure about that comparison. To me it sounds like a rawer version of Diving For Pearls.

The overly blues sound of 'You Shall Be Free' has all the hallmarks of the 60's era, but it's just too traditional sounding for this record. Augeri did say that after his stint in Journey, he went back to his roots to rediscover what made him get into music in the first place. I guess this is what he meant.


In Summary
Fans of the debut Tall Stories will find too little to enthuse over with this album. However, if you like smokey blues laden rock then 'Skyscraper' might appeal. I doubt I will go back and listen to this often, there is not much that appeals to me, but at least it's good to see Augeri and Morer back in the groove. I hope they can dispense with the trad rock approach and release something with more commercial appeal.


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Tags: Tall Stories 
 
Comments
#1 | reyno-roxx on February 16 2009 17:49:50
Will have to check my tapes as to all of the songs that were on the demo, but 'Clementine' was certainly one of the tracks offered up to labels as a taster of the latest material being recorded when I briefly worked at Megarock in Sweden in the Summer/Fall of 1995.
#2 | rostoned on February 16 2009 22:14:57
So unless they changed the title the song below was not featured on the debut and on 'Skyscraper' too...not a bad one. If it is really pre debut I wonder how much leftover material they may have from the early years. Who knows if the release of these demos as an official bootleg via the band itself could be a possibility...

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