"II" (Self-released; 2016)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Boyce's CD, "II," is a solid hard rock record that offers a few suprises as well.

Opening track is "The Fugitive" which sets up the listener for a driving hard rock experience. But the next track begins briefly with strings of some type, before chugging into another driving rocker with some synthesizers to balance things out. Things stay heavy for the next track before going into the slower-paced "Send Me a Sign" which still fits in some heavy guitars at about the halfway point.

"Tomorrow" is next up, another balls-to-the-wall rocker, while the following track, "Queen of Fire," starts out with what sounds a little like Styx and then morphs into a tune with a Damn Yankees vibe.

The rest of the album rolls out the same way, offering more surprises here and there. It's all entertaining from beginning to end with some of the best surprises being some truly razor-sharp leads sprinkled thorughout. There is what seems to be the occasional misstep, too, however, where particular styles don't seem to mesh and it takes you out of the moment. It happens rarely, thank goodness, and might even be more a form of my expectation than a problem with the song.

Perhaps one of the most interesting things about Boyce is this credit on the back of the CD case: "All songs written and performed by Gregory Boyce." Yep, that's right. Gregory Boyce wrote and played everything on the CD. Pretty impressive. Must be difficult ot pull off live though (just kidding).

Hard rock fans, especially those leaning toward the more progressive sound, will find plenty of Boyce "II" to their liking. Makes me want to hear the first CD now!

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2018 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:11 -0400 .