Ryan Roxie has risen to prominence over the years as one of the longest-serving members of Alice Cooper’s band. He’s been in a few other LA and New York-based outfits too, most notably a gig as sideman in Gilby Clarke’s solo band, but, to the best of my knowledge, this is the man’s first ‘proper’ solo album. (He also spent some time in excellent Swedish outfit Casablanca -Ed).
And pretty entertaining Imagine Your Reality is too; Roxie, despite being a guitarist of some repute, isn’t interested in overloading every song with six string pyrotechnics, remaining satisfied at all times with giving a song only the augmentation it really needs.
He’s got a pleasant rock voice, nothing more, but again what he does fits well withing the parameters he’s given himself. Opening track Big Rock Show is a blast of melodic punk nouveau as refined and copywritten by Warrior Soul post 2010, whilst the cover of Cheap Trick’s California Man – replete with vocals from the ‘Trick’s very own Robin Zander – is pretty good too.
Best track is probably the propulsive To Live and Die in L.A., which uses a nice AC/DC riff to good effect and also features Roxie’s best vocal of the album.
Me Generation features some great guitar playing and bounces along propelled by some nice drumming to produce a sort of late-seventies new wave sound not too far removed from what bands like The Knack were doing at the time. In fact the whole album resolutely – and pleasingly, if you’re anything like me – stays away from anything even remotely ‘modern’ sounding, relying simply on Roxie’s skills as a songwriter, player and singer to get the job done.
No surprises then – but, more importantly, no rotten music either. just quality, enjoyable hard rock presented for your delectation by a master of his art. Take a punt – I really think you’ll enjoy it. Even if the album does end with a Coldplay cover!
Imagine Your Reality is out now.