Jean Beauvoir and Micki Free have reunited and it feels so good! People, I give you American Trash, the Frontiers Music debut from BEAUVOIR/FREE: No muss, no fuss; just eleven tracks of melodic rockin’ greatness that will play the seductress to your ears over and over again. Beauvoir handles lead and background vocals as well as bass duties, guitar, drums and keyboards, while Free takes the lion’s share of lead, rhythm, and acoustic guitars on the disc. A natural evolution in a songwriting partnership started over 20 years ago this collaboration is pretty spectacular, starting with opener “Angels Cry” and flowing effortlessly into “Morning After”. These two know exactly what the songs need, cranking it up where need be and also pulling back on the reins to just be in the moment on both.
One of my personal favorites and arguably “most singy-est (it’s a word, SHUSH!) hook of 2015” goes to title track “American Trash”. This is one of those tunes I simply could not and still can’t get enough of. That coupled with the guitars had me reaching for the nearest pair of snakeskin boots ready to hit the town and throw back some shots! “Whiplash” is pure rock n’ roll bliss, then the guys shift gears for a ballad plucked straight from yesteryear in “Just Breathe”. Admittedly, this one was a bit of a grower, but a solid tune nonetheless. Driving down the highway is simply a must when “Shotgun to the Heart” comes on. I don’t care if you were just headed to the corner store for milk, find the nearest on-ramp and open that bitch up when you hear this one, STAT!
Another favorite shows up next in “Never Give Up”, a song that’s a little more mellow with an acoustic flavoring, but much like on “American Trash” the use of “Yeah, yeah yeah” accentuates the chorus and keeps it lodged in the brain for hours, even days. “Cold Dark December” has some seriously slicing guitar work and a booming bottom end poundin’ up your wazoo, while “It’s Never Too Late” hits the AOR mark with rich, layered harmonies, and a mid-tempo groove. “She’s a KO” is yet another winner, and easily one of the album’s best cuts. It has such a summery, feel-good vibe to it that the smile is plastered on my face every time I come back to it. Plus, the last minute features some tasty guitar chops behind that partying chorus.
Closing the disc is “There’s No Starting Over”, one more butcher shop-thick slab of the melodic hard rock I’m sure these two could deliver for days on end if you let them. I didn’t even preview any tracks before I started this record. Free’s and Beauvoir’s collective credits were enough to make me run, not walk to my stereo, and I’m sure glad I did. Besides, Beauvoir co-wrote two of my favorite KISS Klassics “Uh! All Night” and “Who Wants to Be Lonely”! American Trash is right up there with labelmates TRIXTER and HOUSE OF LORDS’ new records and consequently has been played every single day alongside both of them on the loading dock at work. It’s out now, and I highly recommend.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “American Trash”, “Never Give Up”, “She’s a KO”, “It’s Never Too Late”, “Shotgun to the Heart”