STEVE CONE – Distortion

STEVE CONE - Distortion
  • 7/10
    STEVE CONE - Distortion - 7/10


Release date: September 12, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

So, does the name Steve Cone ring a bell? Anyone? If not, don’t fear. Cone is a solo artist in every sense of the word. A former New Yorker, Cone now resides in Arizona, USA.

Distortion is his tenth CD since 1998 (apparently, an additional CD was recorded but never released) and he doesn’t make it easy for himself; in addition to composing and producing, he also plays all instruments as well as handling the vocals. Now, that’s going solo for you! He also recently contributed tracks to MTV producer Rick Ernst’s Get Thrashed documentary – a historic feature on Thrash Metal. Distortion wouldn’t be categorized as Thrash, though; in spite of it admittedly being mostly a hard-driven piece of work.

Though Cone performs everything by himself, the material focuses on his guitar playing by far, and that’s a no-brainer since it’s obviously his premier instrument of choice; punching riffs as well as encompassing, hook-laden guitar melodies are displayed frequently throughout the disc. Where his vocals are concerned, his pipes are certainly the weaker link and may not be up there with Ronnie Dio, Tim Owens, or Rob Rock, but they do the job respectfully –- there’s certainly worse out there that only sing for a living. He could do better with a back-up band though; particularly the drumming. It’s competent, but a bit too basic at certain times. Cone’s a great guitarist, and the strength of some of the material would possibly come through even further if he would have a band of more than competent musicians to back him up, and would probably Rock relentlessly in a live environment as well.

The brand of Hard Rock Cone specializes in would not be viewed as hip, nor does it sound dated. Rather, it’s timeless, honest music, which would sit comfortably in any collection of true Hard Rock and Metal. If anything, more bands with a similar approach would be welcome in today’s broad, sometimes confused genre. Classic KISS material would be a good comparison, as it’s similar in terms of vibe; specifically the stuff Ace Frehley wrote. Steve Cone comes across just as tough and smitten with attitude.

Fast-paced Rockers such as ”The Gambler,” ”Sixty Nine,” and ”Wrecking Ball,” to name a few, are joined by the instrumental title track, as well as the slower grind that is ”Alive” and the old-school Metal infusion of ”Tastes So Good To Me.” Weirder material such as ”Life Blood” and ”I Have The Right” are intertwined with ”The Chosen Ones,” that has a punctuated marching rhythm, while ”Understand” probably comes closest to being the ”ballad” in this setting.

Distortion is a enough-varied slice of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal with plenty of energy. Fourteen songs and a total playing time of an hour could had been shortened just a little bit, however, to further the impact.


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