An alternative sounding, New York based folk rock group offer up their first foray into the mainstream market.
For those who would like to enjoy a more alternative, softer, riff based rock album, The Alan Weuters Alliance’s This is My Life is the perfect place to start. Blending an enchantingly harmonising and layered sound with rich lyrics and storytelling, this New York based group is a wonderful introduction to more contemporary folk and classic rock.
The first thing that is individual about The Alan Weuters Alliance is the seemingly stark individual sound that the group has been able to produce on what would appear to be a shoestring budget. The eponymous Alan Weuters is a thirty five year veteran of the New York music scene, playing with some great musicians including Steve Coronel, an original member of KISS’ Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley’s original group; Wicked Lester. With a distinctly higher-toned voice and electro/acoustic sounding folk guitar, This is My Life is a perfect introduction to the band that seeks to promote themselves internationally.
The opening three tracks of the album emerge to the listener like an old boat, sifting through the morning mist, the introductions of “This is my Life,” “Living on the Edge” and the “Aquariana” have the listener tapping and bobbing with the upbeat riffs and lyric ladened track which follows. Although not primarily based on the softer sounding folk oriented style, “Great Accuser,” “Troubles (For the rest of your life)” are much more bluesy and harder rock based, the latter a fine example of the versatility of playing style, song writing and riff work. This song also provides a wonderful solo towards the end of the track, the only problem being that the chorus has been layered over it. This does not however detract from the clearly brilliant playing style of Alan as he takes the fret board for a walk.
Primarily dealing with the lonesomeness and sometimes hardships of existence, This is My Life is a twelve-track album that takes the listener through the broad spectrum of life’s emotions. Acting like a road weary muse to the listener, the band sings and plays with real emotion invested into the songs. As so often can be the case when dealing with folk based music, folk rock especially, the message can seem rather hackneyed and clichéd. Abandoning the more resentful and patronizing tone, This is My Life is a much more fun sounding, jollier offering to the market.
Aligning themselves with the likes of Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and John Lennon as both influences and contemporary sounds, The Alan Weuters Alliance is worth more than a brief listen. Providing the listener with a wide array of material that is sure to suit longer standing fans of folk and harder rock along with casual listeners. The wonderful, harder hitting cover of Simon & Garfunkle’s “Sounds of Silence” is the highlight of the album. Not to detract from the rest of the material there, the thought of a cover being the best track in this case does not signify less quality of the rest of the album, pays a respectful homage to the original and the band justice. For those who would like an alternative sounding but more traditionally based folk rock album, The Alan Weuters Alliance’ This is My Life is the perfect place to start.
Check out the band’s official website on myspace and record label site: http://www.myspace.com/alanwautersalliance, http://www.cherrybombrecords.com/artist_detail.php?id=4