Denver Colorado based Straight Six announce their full length debut album, ‘Full Circle’, and it’s a hard rocking, no holds barred record, calling to mind the sound of Van Halen and Aerosmith, and more recent rockers such as Dublin’s Skyfever.
In fact, the Van Halen comparison is one that’s come up once or twice: Taylor T Carlson, from ZRock’r Magazine, even said about the band,
It’s a rock and roll party reminiscent of sounds from the old Sunset Strip days, and early Van Halen, with fantastic work from all the musicians.”
Straight Six is a quartet made up of longtime friends Glen Drieth on bass, drummer Joey Shapiro, guitarist Eric Schaudies, and frontman Jay Quintana. Formed in 2017 their cohesiveness gives them a sound of a group who’s been together a lot longer. They have however brought with them a lot of experience and talent into the band. Glen and Joey formerly played together in quasi-punk outfit, Grace’s Period, and before that, Glen toured with country singer, Chris Cagle, while Joey drummed for XYZ, and Puzzlegut.
Eric played with Concrete Effect, and Chilli Whip, and Jay sang with well-known Denver metal band, Death Bed Confession.
Through regular gigging, as well as fans from their previous bands, Straight Six have managed to build up a considerable following. They’ve opened not long ago for Stryper, and have done dates with the Dio Disciples, at The Whisky, in Hollywood, at Count’s Vamp’d in Las Vegas, and other venues in Denver, and Salt Lake City. Their sound is huge and brash, and their songs are catchy and eagerly received by their audiences.
Speaking of ‘Full Circle’, Joey said,
“The album has perfectly captured who Straight Six is today. We recorded it very organically. I used a click track when we did the drums, but we recorded it all together with very few overdubs. Yet there are two tracks of guitars on much of the album, so it sonically competes with those of other current bands. We have people constantly telling us after seeing us live for the first time or hearing the record for the first time, ‘Thank you! This brings me right back to what I’ve been missing all this time.’ Likewise, it means everything to us, because that’s how we feel playing our music and the fact that it’s translating to the fans is just incredible.”
For production, Straight Six went to the best: Steve Avedis, from Colorado Sound, who’s worked with *NSYNC, Tony Bennett, Kenny Rogers, and Edwin McCain.
The ten track album is hard and heavy from the get go. Opening track, ‘Aimed At Me’, is all fast and furious, with vocals reminding us of Steve Tyler of Aerosmith, and soaring guitars solos competing with big drum beats. Once we started thinking it sounded like Aerosmith we couldn’t stop – track 2, ‘Middle Of The Ride’, has a ‘Walk This Way’ vibe about it. There’s a sense that Straight Six are out of their time, they’d have fit in very well in the 80s: there’s a definite sense of fun with their music.
Third track, ‘Back Home’, opens with strong guitars and drums, and it’s quite a while before the vocals come in, but it’s fine. It would be interesting to hear what this sounded like as an instrumental, it’s in a lot of ways a showcase for the musical abilities of the band.
Conversely, ‘Cry All Night’, is a vocal led track, with Jay Quintana showing us the best of what he’s got – and he’s certainly got a lot.
Halfway through the album, and ‘Divided We Stand’ feels like it’s been a lot of fun for the band, and we get the impression it would work really well as a live performance. Glen Drieth certainly has a way with his lyrics, and several of his songs tell the story of his time living in LA. There’s more strong guitars at the start of ‘Joneser’s Lane’, and the song cautions the listener about Joneser’s Lane, a street in Venice known for being the location of drug deals. The vocals are suitably soaring – almost frightening – completely in keeping with the subject matter of the song.
‘What Would I Give’ is the first ballad on the album, and its position as track 7 is a welcome rest from the heavier rock of the earlier songs. There’s several love songs on the album, albeit sad ones, such as ‘Divided We Stand’ and ‘Middle Of The Ride’, both about doomed and failing relationships; ‘What Would I Give’ however feels more like a song dedicated to someone who returns the love.
If you like your rock and roll hard and loud, then you’ll love ‘Full Circle’. There’s a lot to suggest that the band had a lot of fun making it – while at the same time being committed to their craft.
‘Full Circle’ is available to buy, on digital download, CD, Cassette, and Vinyl, from Bandcamp, and from Straight Six’s website. You can also find out more about Straight Six online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.