Album review – DEXTRESS – Dextress
By STEVE MASCORD
HOPEFULLY as 2018 wears on, you’ll discover lots of new music here at Hot Metal.
It was fun reviewing the new Jesper Binzer album through the lens of an interview conducted two and a half years ago but never written up as a feature.
Here’s another experiment that might fall flat on its face: I’m going to go through another website’s top albums of 2017 and review them. At the end of the run, I’ll tell you the name of the website but for now I don’t want to distract either of us.
First up is a band called Dextress. They’re a four-piece from Calgary that’s been around since 2011. Singer Jackson Taylor and guitarist Mark Janz started things off and Eric Paulin joined them on bass.
Who’s on drums? It’s not immediately apparent from their website. OK, let’s kick things off – these dudes are about to invade your reviewer’s cranium for the first time.
“Wild Is The Night” sounds like something from fellow hair metal revivalists Crazy Lixx – nice chunky guitar sound, soaring chorus, maybe a little simplistic for those of us who’ve had 35 years of this stuff. Solid start though.
“Sex, Drugs, Rock’n’Roll” (there’s an original title) makes one concession to modern times – machine gun drumming. This song would NOT have appeared on a record in 1985 for that reason.
Next is “Bring On The Girls”, which seems to have been a single of sorts. This has a nice swing to it; Dextress certainly don’t sound like beginners. There’s nothing sloppy about them.
“Reason Or Rhyme” is a riffy track; you’ve heard this stuff before but that doesn’t make it a bad thing. “Red Eye Remedy” could be a Poison song, “Down By The River” reminds me of Warrant but maybe that’s because Uncle Tom’s Cabin could be down there.
Plenty of cow bell on “Oh Sweet Sister” – which you’d expect on a song called “Oh Sweet Sister”. Every hard rock album needs one song which starts with a driving bassline and that comes with “Play Nice”, which is probably the most interesting and memorable song here, with really catchy phrasing.
“Guilty Man” is the shredding song, starting off with some nice fret rattling and filling the central casting role of “fast song”.
The eponymous debut finishes off with “Distance” and I take back what I said before; THIS is the most interesting, sophisticated and restrained track on offer – a touch of real songwriting class and poise. Cut to an hour later and I’ve listened to it four times and about to go for five. It’s a friggin’ gem!
How refreshing to hear the best left until last!
So, overall impressions. A great intro to hard rock for people of the age of the guys in the band. If you’re a bit older than that, it’s not going to change your life.