Huxster rock out with their own special style on sophomore CD Side Two

Huxster just released Side Two, a ten track sophomore CD of very original and individual rocking material. Each track is marked by bracing guitars that ring out with muscular talent in their colors, tones, and style. Subtle shifts and even the simplest notes indicate emotions and human drama. There is much detail to be appreciated in the sound this trio is pumping out of your stereo speakers. Each song could be a radio hit with some degree of success.

Opening cut “Call You Mine” is solid guitar driven rock. This trio has a driving rhythm section and their sound is forged into a melodic tune with catchy chorus and an oddly pleasing lead vocal. Their sound is tighter than tight, with the three doing a lot within their trio format, like a lead guitar break that screams with intricacies.

“Remains” has a drum beat that pounds like a horse hoofing down a trail, steady and determined. Lead guitarist-lead vocalist Paul Amenta croons with an assertive edge that kicks this piece into first gear. He plays his guitar with a bright shiny pitch that defines the whole song.

“Island” begins with bass player David Dunn switching to mandolin and pump organ, creating amicable melodies that draw you right in. Finding unique sounds is what this band is all about. A gripping lead guitar phrase rides through this track. Amenta’s plaintive voice builds suspense in its pleading words. He makes you feel the angst of the song when he sings “You are the island and I am the sea tower/There will always be an ocean between us.”

Gentle electric guitar picking begin “I Believe You’re Right” with a forlorn sadness. Amenta sings out his peaceful resignation over a subtle push from the rhythm section. His voice has a distinct sound and a strong presence as he lets this one unfold at a take your time pace. The trio employ a dynamic shift that suddenly intensifies the power of this tune, a bold stroke that turns up the heat just enough for great musical effect.

Powered by catchy guitar chords, “Sliver” trots along a jaunty path while an infectious chorus tugs the ear. Amenta’s vocal yelps give this one a slight anthem feel, and it asserts itself with edgy guitar phrases that bring it to life. “Let It Go” has a low slung sense of cool, like the singer can shrug the whole world over his shoulder without a care. Breezy, flowing rhythm give this such a feeling of movement that you feel the trio is taking you for a pleasant drive. Amenta’s lead guitar phrase sparks like an iron rod against an anvil, making a sound you cannot ignore.

“Oh No” has a jumpy beat courtesy of drummer Joe Patten. His snare work is tight with the guitar chords, and you feel that little extra something in the space he leaves open for his band mates. The rocking guitar leads, pushy bass runs, and the vocal flourishes all get a bumped up sensation from the skin smacking going on underneath them.

Bass player David Dunn bounces and bumps “Day To Shine” forward with his knobby, bopping bass runs. There is a fulsomeness in his finger picking style that gives this song a lot of character. It’s not the usual backing musician or sideman trip. Dunn has his own individual way of making these notes sound knobby in the way he wants them to. And there is nothing like a musician who can make you want to listen more closely. Dunn and Patten get into their special groove and sort of nuance up this music with their work being as detailed as the melody.

 “You” features Dunn emoting his regrets over a zesty backbeat and he sustains the title word with emphatic oomph. You can picture this song playing over a sad scene in a romance gone wrong movie scene. Closing cut “The Truth” gives you something to remember them by. Huxster gets it moving with an assertive rhythm section putting meat on the bones with knobby, thumping drive. Dunn comes in sly and sophisticated, his coolly detached vocal full of suggestion and promise.

Huxster certainly deliver the goods on this second album. Side Two will take them to new places and faces. Music this compelling cannot help but gather new fans as the trio moves forward.

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