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Head On Straight

Tonic

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Album Review

Produced by metal guru Bob Rock, Tonic's heavy-handed Head on Straight takes dead aim at arena rock circa 2002 via strong melodies, big choruses, thick, domineering guitars, and a solid backbeat. Singer Emerson Hart proudly wears a broken heart on his tattered sleeve, especially on anthemic cuts such as "Take Me As I Am," "Do You Know," and "Believe Me," all of which showcase his expansive range and captivating emotive style evocative of Bono, Michael Hutchence, and Eddie Vedder. Guitarist Jeff Russo's pentatonic riffs, shimmering harmonics, and engaging arpeggios provide a perfect canvas for Hart's bellow and bassist Dan Lavery's funky staccato lines. Waxing political in "Irish" ("I won't die for England") and working out a blues mojo in "Rest Your Head," Tonic exudes confidence and conviction on a grand collection sans filler.

Biography

Formed: 1993

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Vocalist/guitarist Emerson Hart formed the alternative/roots band Tonic in 1993 with guitarist Jeff Russo (a childhood friend), bassist Dan Rothchild, and drummer Kevin Shepard. After gigging around Los Angeles, the foursome signed with A&M Records. For the recording of their debut album, producer Jack Joseph Puig (Jellyfish, the Black Crowes) gave Tonic a decidedly rootsy feel, with the addition of lap steel and mandolin. The album, titled Lemon Parade, was released in July 1996. After replacing...
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Head On Straight, Tonic
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