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[ALBUM REVIEW] AARON KEYLOCK: Cut Against The Grain

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You often hear the gripe these days “nobody is doing good old fashioned rock and roll anymore.” Well, gripe no more because somebody is back to making rock the way it was intended to be… and what might surprise you is the guy that is doing it is just 19 years old. That man is Aaron Keylock.

One look at Aaron and you can easily see that he should have been born 40 years ago and been an original member of Black Sabbath. By his own admission, he’s a 70s hippie living in the modern day and yes this kid rocks just the way those rockers did back then as well. And if you love your rock that way then you are going to want to go out and grab a copy of his debut album Cut Against The Grain.

Opening track All The Right Moves captures that old school rock sound from the get-go and also delivers some amazing guitar work from Keylock. Yes, it is easy to see that why magazines like Metal Hammer have been labelling him a guitarist to watch for awhile. It also seems that recording this album with producer Fabrizio Grossi was such a great idea – it just so happens that Grossi has cut his mustard working with the likes of Slash, Zakk Wylde, Alice Cooper and Dave Navarro.

What stands out about Cut Against The Grain is just how catchy some of the tracks are. Down makes you want to foot tap while Falling Again, That’s Not Me and Spin The Bottle all have you singing along even after you’ve only listened to them once. They are so catchy that it almost seems criminal that they aren’t getting more radio attention in Australia.

Bluesy rock tracks like Sun’s Gonna Shine, Against The Grain and Medicine Man all transport you back to the 1970s and they just glide by as you listen to them a few times over. The latter also reveals Keylock as a bit of a story-teller with his lyric writing. It also showcases his amazing guitar playing, as does the slowed down guitar work on Try, but it is the drawn out playing and added organ on Just One Question that makes you realise that he isn’t just a flash-in-the-pan-prodigy, he’s a muso that is going to be around for a long time to come. Just One Question also makes you feel like Keylock is an old soul in a young body but then what do you expect from someone that has been playing professional gigs since he was thirteen and even once played at a biker rally with a Harley Davidson doing burn-outs behind him.

Aaron Keylock is one of those amazing musicians that you just have to listen to see just how talented he really is. Just one listen to Cut Against The Grain, and you’ll be envious that you can’t play guitar like him, but you’ll also realise that one day this kid will be mentioned in the same sentence as great guitar players like Slash. This is an amazing album that will bring out the old rocker in everybody and show everyone out there that not all youngsters out there are trapped in a world of Bieber or One Direction.

3.5 Stars

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ7Clwwv-14]

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