SCORE - 88%
Unruly Child are one of those bands that should have received more due. Marcie Free is an international treasure and the core duo of Guy Allison and Bruce Gowdy are two very fine musicians who deliver every time.
A band who started with a hard edge but veered more AOR and were accused by some of being too soft have found their grunt again, with this being the heaviest album since the classic major label debut back in 1992.
I love that there’s almost a prog edge to some of the band’s material, their songwriting definitely holds more complexities than the average melodic rock outfit. 12 tracks at 60 minutes means there is a lot to absorb. 10 brand new tracks and two semi-acoustic remakes of To Be Your Everything and Let’s Talk About Love.
What I find distracting is the production quality. The mix is muddy and the programmed drums lack punch and well, lack authenticity. There’s no replacement for a real live drummer.
Playing the album at high (really high) volume, as it deserves, isn’t very easy on the ears.
I love that the album has the moody groove of the debut and there’s some great lyrical angst and antagonism as has been scattered throughout.
Of course, when you think Unruly Child you think hooks and they are delivered throughout – just not as quite as obvious as the past, but a few listens and you can hear them all over the place.
Lots to soak up here and a lot of music to appreciate. Not an instant record, but I like the kind of albums that grow over time much better. If only the production quality was that somewhere close to the debut – then this would have been a monster.