By Heavy Paradise
Ian James Stewart is a guitarist, composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer, but, basically, the general melodic public knows him as the lead guitarist and main songwriter of the legendary AOR act Strangeways in the mid 80's.
In his new release which is entitled "Junk DNA", Ian put all his influences that he grew up with and he mixes them in such a way that in the end he succeeds to release a solid album that may not excite but it certainly does not go unnoticed.
The music of "Junk DNA" is a mix of melodic hard / soft rock with a strong blues vibe and a more modern rock approach ! For example, the opening and self-title track of "Junk DNA" contains all of the above elements; a good guitar work, tight orchestrations and an overall memorable chorus line! The "Big White Monkey" has strong southern 'air' and it's among my favorite tracks from this opus. Next, we have the 'classic' AOR tune of "One More Time" and the melodic lines of the early Strangeways begin to shyly make their appearance and the same goes with "No Water" and "Heaven Knows" which especially the last one is characterized by a superb guitar work!
A rather good release and as I already mentioned, "Junk DNA" may not excite but it manages to capture the listener with beautiful melodies and quite well written songs.
Heavy Paradise's Rating : 7/10