9/29/2006 - Review by: Frank Hill
Hydrogyn - Bombshell - 2006 - Chavis Records
Hydrogyn is in a bit of a tough spot here with American tastes in more of an aggro phase than a hard rock phase, but as much as bands try to tune down and growl like dogs with towels in their mouths, classic rock riffs never go out of style. Julie Westlake is the good-looking front woman who is clearly the star here. A lot of the band's image seems to revolve around her giving off a sexy look. Thankfully, she does have vocal talent to backup the cheesecake that's out on the table. The clear production from Michael Wagener and use of vocal harmonies work well with her traditional Pat Benatar styled voice. Jeff Westlake's guitar work and the rest of the band stay back from the spotlight in a riff-based supporting role.
Jeff Westlake writes the blueprints behind HYDROGYN, "We wanted something a broad audience could love but also be something special. Something that stood out."
Considering what is generally played on the radio, Hydrogyn does stand out, but it's still fairly commercial tunes. The majority of Bombshell is fairly poppy rock with some pushing into rock territory--"Look Away S.P." channels Heart and Zeppelin and there's an solid cover of the iconic "Back in Black", but it the only performance where she gets a little on the mean side. "Come Back to Me" is the song that will haunt your dreams with it's pained emotive softness.
I would expect good support for Hydrogyn in the Euro-pop market with fans of bands like Lullacry and any U.S. fan still rocking to classic rock favorites. Extra points to the band for a great website and for being from West Virginia.
Score: 7.5 of 10
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