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Articles Home » 2012 Articles » Shotgun Alley - 2012 Dying To Survive
Shotgun Alley - 2012 Dying To Survive

ARTIST: Shotgun Alley
ALBUM: Dying To Survive
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 2012


LINEUP: Mark Falcon - lead vocals * Jimmy Wong - keyboards * Josh Grant Betty - bass * Bahador Borhani - rhythm, lead guitars * Davie Love - rhythm, lead guitars * Karl Woodhams - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Back In Style * 02 Youth United * 03 Run * 04 No! * 05 Closer * 06 Test Of Time * 07 Escape * 08 Gunshot * 09 Breathing * 10 Explode



This is a bit of an epitaph then. Shotgun Alley - melodic rockers from New Zealand featuring Australian lead singer Mark Falcon (former 'Home And Away' actor) with the band apparently relocated to El-Lay, only to chuck it all in after this, their second album was completed. Man, doesn't life suck? It surely did for these promising rockers, only to throw in the oft-bandied buzz-phrases like 'irreconcilable differences' or 'growing apart'. Hang on a minute, that sounds like the typical excuses given to husband and wife separating! But that's exactly what happened, the boyz breaking up amicably it would seem. Damn.. what a set back. Being a Kiwi and all, I was kinda hoping that my Auckland homies Plus Sydney hanger-on (lol!) would deliver big time, but nought happened, much to the despair of many JAFA's either side of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, as well as many around the globe it would seem. Double damn!! Luigi Cisaria wrote the review of SGA's debut album released last year. It would seem that even back then that SGA were on the path to riches.. My how fortunes can change within a year. So what is the story behind 'Dying To Survive'? Well, SGA bought in new drummer Karl Woodhams (this boy can drum!), and as mentioned they did move to L.A to improve their net worth, but in the end, their batch of new songs ended up being a freebie giveaway to all their followers, after jacking it in around Nov 2012.

The Songs
And you know what? Even a half decent 'signed' band on some schmuck label should be feeling slightly embarrassed when compared to SGA's quality. You don't get to play support gigs to the likes of Def Leppard, Alice Cooper and Steel Panther unless you're anywhere near half decent in quality; and SGA had proved that between 2009-2012, which is more than I can say about many pretenders out there. There's plenty of quality material on 'Dying To Survive', and it's been getting a round of applause across the Internet since the band announced they were chucking it in. SGA rip into it as early as track one with 'Back In Style' tearing it up, like a freeloader wandering up and down Karangahape Road strip on a Friday night! It all sounds as modern as heck for 'Youth United', SGA trying to emulate that debut Extreme album from 1989.. for sure! From here on in, things get mighty exciting with the rampant trio of 'Run', 'No!' and 'Closer'. Surely easy song titles to remember, so too the slamdunk melodies meeting you head on like a traffic jam on Auckland's Spaghetti Junction after 5pm on a week night! 'Closer' in particular is a radio friendly ballad in true Def Leppard fashion. Turn it up Bro! So too 'Test Of Time' which starts out mellow but burns up the tarmac with some scorching guitar work amid the melodic vocal work. SGA crank up the dirty factor for 'Escape', but the rich choruses and equally dynamic guitars and keyboards ensure that no listener worth his/her weight in melodicity (is there such a word?) will escape willingly. 'Gunshot' reveals a modern pop/rock sound, but beneath it all, there is a melodic rock underbelly that prefers to stay hidden. The purist ballad on the album is 'Breathing'; this album's equivalent of 'Eventually' from the SGA debut album. A beautiful tune that will invoke candles and lighters on a dark night for sure. To finish up, we get modern drums and a swirly ambient vocal for 'Explode'. It has a Def Leppard signature without the sugar-sweet overdubs as relayed by Mutt Lange, but still the comparisons are remarkable. If the Lepps were to contemplate a way forward into the 21st century, they could do less than follow the formula laid down by the recently deceased Shotgun Alley.

In Summary
So there we have it, an epitaph of a millionth magnitude; and a disappointing end to what might have been. Lead singer Mark Falcon has returned to Australia and his band Falcon Road is gathering steam for a 2013 assault. As for the rest of SGA, time will tell what happens next. Try and track this freebie album down from the Net. You won't be disappointed!

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