“The Last War,” the first track in this collection, perfectly blends rock music with melodies straight out of old (spaghetti) westerns for seven and a half minutes of pure listening pleasure. Unfortunately, the other tracks don’t match the excellence of “The Last War.” “After the Bombs” (track 2) is pretty good, though it has some parts that drag and it’s unsuitable for looping, making it inconvenient to use in the background. “The Rock Hard Saloon” doesn’t imply a “saloon” at all, musically; it’s more like “the irradiated disco lounge,” with nice enough music but violating genre expectations if you’re listening to the album in track order. “Denver” made me think of 60s sci-fi movie and TV scenes where explorers interact with an unfamiliar computer. I didn’t care much for “Drifter,” and although I liked the middle four minutes of “Junker’s Jam,” those strange two minutes on the outside really diminished it for me. The first six minutes or so of “The Ruins” would make great ambience music for post-apocalyptic desert scenes, but the track gets weird and almost literally painful (due to the specific tones and pitches used) for about a couple of minutes starting around the six-minute mark. “Law Dogs” has the right tempo, beat, and energy for a good chase scene, but it lacks the western vibe that I liked so much in “The Last War.” “Welcome to Hell” is only a minute long; “The Fight Goes On” is good, but feels more like “the song that plays under the credits.” This collection turns out to be very much a mixed bag for me. Given a chance, I’d rate it as three and a half stars. Since half-stars aren’t available, I rounded down just to be on the “safe” side.
[3 of 5 Stars!]