Album Review: Ryan Roxie – “Imagine Your Reality”
Ryan Roxie is probably best known these days as one third of the Alice Cooper band’s guitar attack along with Nita Strauss and Tommy Henriksen, but what younger readers may not know is that he’s actually got a pretty decent three-decade career as a rock star in his own right. Starting off as guitarist with LA pop-rockers Candy in the mid-80s (where he shared six string duties with future G’n’R man Gilby Clarke), he stuck with them as they mutated into The Electric Angels, before moving on via stints with both Gilby Clarke and Slash’s Snakepit and his own bands Dad’s Porno Mag and Roxie 77 to work with the Coop.
With Alice currently concentrating on his Hollywood Vampires side project though, Roxie has taken advantage of the downtime to put a solo album out and I’m happy to report that Imagine Your Reality keeps up the high standards you’d expect from the guy. The 90 second opening track Big Rock Show lays down the manifesto nicely, zipping along on a big hands in the air chorus just in time for summer starting. It’s followed up by the almost rockabilly style riff of Over And Done, before a well-chosen cover of Cheap Trick’s California Man (complete with Robin Zander on guest vocals) makes you realise that this is gonna be a great soundtrack to the summer ahead.
The hits just keep on coming after that from the punked up Me Generation and Never Mind Me through the more melodic Hearts In Trouble and The Uh-Oh Song which has an almost country style vibe to it. Even when Roxie’s spitting venom at crooked former accomplices on To Live And Die In LA though, he still can’t help but set the words to a big stadium-sized chorus and hook which won’t let you go. It’s only on the closing cover of Coldplay’s God Put A Smile On Your Face (which actually works better than you’d think) that he ventures into slightly darker territory, but even then, as soon as it’s over I guarantee you’ll be cueing this one up for a second listen.
Imagine Your Reality is a perfect album for a summer barbecue and a few cans of whatever your poison. Similar to his namesake Ryan Hamilton, Roxie is a master of creating bright sunshiny Cheap Trick style power pop with hooks the size of Greenland. For a soundtrack to the sunny months ahead, this comes highly recommended.