Next Guy in Line
The New Year's kicking off with the emergence of a major new voice,a Western Massachusetts songwriter whose debut disc is packed-to-the-max with gritty,guitar-based rock that's also filled with hooks,harmonies,power pop melodies and surging rhythms. The voice belongs to Eric Haydocy,and the 10-track album is a labor of love called 'Next Guy In LIne'. Haydocy and his mates spent five years working on this disc, which features an A-list band comprised of some of the best players in the region, dating back two decades. A native of Western Mass, Haydocy grew up in a house filled with music. His mother played guitar, his father played piano so the youngest rocker in the family soon learned the ultimate payback was to learn to play drums. He did, but it's his earthy, soulfyl and huge voice that drives this collection. The bulk of the songs on the album were penned by Haydocy and his primary collaborator, guitarist/songwriter Dave MacDonald, best known for his work with two of the region's preeminent 1980's bands, the Cardiac Kids and the Sighs. The unique partnership between songwriters of two generations is the driving force behing the disc, which blends vintage Beatle-esgue melodies and balladry with rockin fare reminiscent of everyone from Pearl Jam to prime-time R.E.M. Among the standouts on the set is the richly melodic heartbreak ballad 'Can't Believe'; the guitar-burning tale of fast times, bad turns and tragedy,'Hands' - check out MacDonald's raging guitar solo on that one; the utterly infectious, harmony drenched 'Nobody Knows'; and 'Your The Only One', which blends acoustic and electric flavors, echoing Michael Stipe and company. And that's just where the thunder start. 'Next Guy In Line' kicks from start to finish, and is bolsterd by a first-rate support cast including ex-Cardiac Kid Steve Moser on keyboards; three stellar drommers in Chris Ryan (Frank Manzi,Mary's First), Tommy Pluta (Sighs) and Keith Levarault (Love Bomb). With longtime friend Eric Collins (Switchhook Helen) ancoring the bass and Carl Flagg on backing vocals, it's a combination that blends styles and musical sensibilities brilliantly. All in all, 'Next Guy In Line' is an album richly deserving attention from a guy who's poured his heart, soul and passion into putting it together during the past five years. Turn it up and let it rock. Get your motor running, right here, right now.