Expect the unexpected here from a Washington-based band known as Sideways Reign. A Stand For All Stages is music for all faces. This group of musicians blends an interesting variety of rock, blues, folk and even some funk. The meaning behind the band name relates to their “Pacific Northwest roots and as a reference to the political tyrannies that they stand firmly against”. Down-to-earth rock for every class of people sums up the premise of Sideways Reign and their Stand For All Stages.
Sideways Reign is made up of Justin Stang on vocals & guitar, Casey Dehe on guitar, Cody Goodwin on bass and Mike Dennis on drums. There were many elements about this record that really stood out to me. The first was Stang’s graspy & gritty vocal style that seemed to add more edge & substance to the album. The second element I picked up on was the fine guitar playing here. There were some killer-cool guitar solos that just rocked the spot. The switch between electric & acoustic guitar added a nice overall dimension to the recording. The third and final element that took me by surprise were the unexpected time changes. These time changes happened sporadically throughout the record and occurred at times that you wouldn’t expect. Slowed down rhythms, fast, more up-beat paces and mid-tempo numbers were all touched on and all intermingled with here. It made for a unique listen and it was quite surprising at times. Like I said earlier, definitely expect the unexpected as you will get a full plate of it.
I’d like to talk a little bit about the latter end of this album due to its funky-rock-fresh demeanor. Track nine, “Settle On”, offers up a bangin’ drum beat while the guitar was funkin’ out & rockin’ out. The next song, “C2H2”, has a great beat going with a little taste of funk once again on guitar & bass. There was no singing here; this was just one awesome jam session where all four members went all out. “C2H2” is one of my favorite tracks on the album due to the live feel and impressive musicianship. Sideways Reign ends with some harsh words that will make you think: “I’d rather be dead than in love with you”. Wow–who is this person Stang speaks of? Is she a bitch, is she freakin’ off-her-rocker-crazy, self-centered, materialistic or maybe some or all of the above….who knows!? I do know the inquiring mind would love to know more about this person.
Overall, I enjoyed the different takes on music and musical styles Sideways Reign delve into. The only one issue I had, at times, was that certain songs seemed to sound kind of the same. This did not happen all the way through the album; it just hit me at certain moments. For more on Sideways Reign and their latest release, A Stand For All Stages, SKOPE out www.sidewaysreign.com.
By Jimmy Rae[Rating: 3.5/5]