Multi-platinum songwriter Lorraine Ferro, lead singer of LoudLife, has been compared to so many different artists that it seems impossible to list them all: Joan Osborne, Sheryl Crow, Grace Slick, Ann Wilson, Sass Jordan, Allanah Myles, Janis Joplin, Joan Jett... and those are just the women. Ferro, and LoudLife lead guitarist Geoff Sobel, are collectively referred to with the same hushed, reverent tones as other great duos: Tyler-Perry, Staley-Cantrell, Axl- Slash, and even Page-Plant. From all that name-dropping you might expect a LoudLife to deliver a grungy, whiskey and cigarettes-infused sort of classic hard rock, and you'd be right on the money.
LoudLife opens with the blues-drenched driving song, "Let Go of the Wheel," Ferro whispering her way inside and then gradually turning up the heat until the song's crescendo drops you right into the grungy, angry "Tear in the Curtain," somewhat akin to across between Alice in Chains and Eleven. Ferro sings somewhat more sweetly on "Far Below the Surface," but the Amy Lee-like vocals are paired with a nasty nine inch nails like chorus: "Break me. Mend me. Save me. Spend me." The comparisons are everywhere: "Step Away" grinds like Kittie; Cradle to Crypt is unmistakably Evanescent; "Icarus" could be a long- lost track from Iron Maiden's Seventh Son disc. If there are slow spots, they're the moments where LoudLife tries to play it sweet and soft; the band is at its best when Ferro's shrieking and Sobel's grinding away (as with the chorus of "Turn The Page Over"), and LoudLife is truly living loudly.
Michael Fiegel is a freelance writer and graphic designer. His diverse
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