One Bad Son

Orange City

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The second album by those hard rocking sons of the Canadian prairie One Bad Son sounds for all the world what Guns N' Roses fans might hope Chinese Democracy will sound like if and when it's ever finished. Lacking the grandiosity that sank the band's later albums, and toning down the glam metal into a more low-key form of hard rock in keeping with current fashion, Orange City is simply a straightforward, meat and potatoes hard rock album with little flash and less pretension, anchored by a singer who at times sound so much like Axl Rose that surely that must be what singer Shane Volk is going for. The Saskatoon quartet has a knack for grungy boogie ("Gringo"), leavened with occasional poppier tunes ("Crooked Mic Stand," which features a killer guitar riff from Adam Hicks that sounds like he's shooting for his own "Sweet Child O' Mine") and stadium anthems ("Sun Fire," the most lighter-ready tune here), and the album delivers good old-fashioned rawk for the inner hesher of anyone sick of waiting for a return to the glory days of the late '80s, when hair spray and scarves were cool and Nirvana hadn't ruined everything yet.

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