One Way Ride

Straight Up!

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Don Gehman is a pop/rock producer who is known for working with very melodic artists. From R.E.M., Better Than Ezra, and Tracy Chapman to Pat Benatar, John Cougar Mellencamp, and Hootie & the Blowfish, the artists Gehman has produced tend to make melody a very high priority. One Way Ride is no exception; on its Gehman-produced debut album of 2000, Straight Up!, the Los Angeles-based alternative rock band can be forceful and aggressive but is never without a strong sense of melody. One Way Ride isn't just about riffs; reflective post-grunge tracks like "Beautiful Blue," "13 Yr. Old Heroin Addict in TV Land," and "Pot of Gold" make it clear that this band is about real melodies and meaningful, intelligent lyrics. If you had taken away all the amplification and forced One Way Ride to make this an acoustic album, Straight Up! still would have been worthwhile. Influenced by Pearl Jam, the Stone Temple Pilots, and Creed, among others, One Way Ride isn't groundbreaking by 2000 standards. But the material is generally solid, if derivative, and lead singer Leldon is an expressive rocker who has no problem bringing it to life.

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