Still Alive  –  Fred Argir (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

We know from the previous sonic salvo, I Don’t Feel It, that Fred Argir revels in, not just the sound of the guitar but its potential in the studio. He understands the fullness of its sonic spectrum from deftly picked acoustic to muscle-bound, over-driven electric and combines these various textures, intertwining layers and complimentary dynamics to build his songs.

And whilst Still Alive comes very much from a rock place within that broad spectrum there is plenty on offer. Catch You When You Fall is an exquisite power ballad, but one that eschews the mush and sentimentality that is normally associated with the genre and is instead honest and heart-tugging whilst Asylum of The Human Resistance is a fist in the air anthemic energiser. There are dark interludes such as Day’s Keep Turning, straight out rock groovers with Too Tired To Fight and even Gabriel-esque tribalistic pop-rock in Two Moons.

You could argue that Fred Argir is doing nothing new. I would respond by saying that yes, the building blocks are very familiar but the sonic architecture that he builds with those fundamental elements is wonderfully fresh, inspiring and a worthy addition to the rock canon.

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