Pete Way returns with his solo adventure, Waysted. 'The Harsh Reality' is definitely good melodic hard rock album. It will probably never equal 1986's 'Save Your Prayers' (a classic you should by on vinyl) which featured Danny Vaughn (Tyketto, solo work) on vocals. But past accomplishments never inhibit a band, or especially, Pete Way from striking forward with new material. I've always thought the best thing about Waysted is that it is not all about Pete. He usually gathers a good crew around him. Fin is back on vocals. And Mr. Way has brought on relative newcomer Chris George to stir up the guitar work. With Way on bass and Paul RD Haslin on drums, you have strong and dynamic rhythm section. In the end, this is a great rock and roll album.
'The Harsh Reality' has a good mix of flavors: traditional melodic hard rock, some modern nuances, some real boogie rock numbers, and definitely some blues-based rock. Fin out does himself on vocals. Honestly, I loved the whole album. Here are my favorite tracks: 'Samaritan Man,' Fin is just to smooth; 'Long Time Dead,' great guitar licks; 'It Wasn't Me,' a really bluesy number with Fin bringing down some Chicago-style blues vocals; 'Song For Steve,' a completely different number seems more like American modern rock; 'The Harsh Reality,' a strong track with an excellent arrangement, strong vocals, great lyrics, and short, yet brilliant guitar work.
I don't know if I'd called it the best song or the 'featured' song on 'The Harsh Reality.' Yet, Waysted's cover of 'Handbags And Gladrags' is very, very good. Written in 1967 by Mike d'Abo, who was then the lead singer of Manfred Mann, and best known when performed by Rod Stewart for the 1970 album 'An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down.' This version of the song was arranged by Mike d'Abo himself, who also played piano on the recording. The song failed to garner significant sales or airplay in the United States, but when it was re-released as a single in 1972, it managed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100' (Wikipedia). I like it!
I really enjoyed Waysted's 'The Harsh Reality.' In the end three things stood out: Fin's vocals, the fine song arrangements, and the mixture of styles. Fans should grab this album while they can. Newcomers, will find this to be a fine introduction to a great, though often unnoticed, band. Very recommended!
- Craig Hartranft
Pete Way is back with his excellent solo project Waysted. 'The Harsh Reality' is a great mix of melodic rock styles. Fin shines on vocals. Good choice for fans of melodic hard rock.
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