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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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Still Feeling Sonic Healing: Why Todd Michael Hall’s Solo Record Rocks

Todd Michael Hall, lead singer of Riot V, recently debuted his first solo album, Sonic Healing. With the aid of Metal Church guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof, Hall crafts delightfully straightforward melodies, without compromising attention to detail. In Hall’s same spirit, let us walk through each track together.

“Overdrive”: With the excitement of cruising on Friday night, “Overdrive” roars breaks the speed limit with the top down. In just ten seconds, the listener is revved up by Metal Church guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof’s catchy riffs. Todd Michael Hall’s vocals take this song over the edge and makes this song a true headbanging anthem. Vanderhoof’s solo leaves nothing to be desired. This introduction track is sure to satiate and increase your appetite for rock and roll.

“Let Loose Tonight”: Hall’s phrasing, in tandem with Vanderhoof’s midtempo riffs, gives this track qualities akin to Foreigner in the late 1970s. It chugs along and paints a picture of musical spaciousness, far different from Vanderhoof’s early work with Metal Church. This will allow for pleasing instrumental and vocal embellishments when played live. Upon experiencing “Let Loose Tonight”, images of classic hard rock albums should dance in the listener’s mind, as well as their turntables. 

“All on the Line”: Hard rock is unique, in that it has the ability to actualize metaphorical acts and expressions (“going into overdrive”, “letting loose”, etc.). In a bold fashion that would make Jack Blades and Mike Reno proud, Hall successfully lays all his vocal prowess on the line. 

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Bradley Biggs
Bradley Biggs
Music historian and critic.

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