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CD Review: Man Raze 

Surreal

The Deal: Def Leppard's Phil Collen, The Sex Pistols' Paul Cook and Girl's Simon Laffy join forces for new group.

The Good: The album tears off from the start with "This Is," a hard-rocking song with raspy vocals, heavy drums and rock riffs. You can easily hear the punk influence, but at the same time the song sounds like it's written in an arena rock style. It should be no surprise that Collen was the primary songwriter on the album. The trio sounds tight and was surprisingly good – at least in short spurts. Their harder, upbeat songs are damn good – the reggae and pop-rock ones come across as only slightly above average.

The Bad: The band released an initial EP back in 2005 – what took 'em so long to release a full-length disc? I have no clue where Collen's accent comes from on the reggae-tinged "Runnin' Me Up," which just seems out of place on the rock album, regardless of the vocals. At times, the band sounds like The Police, but only in a generic, rock-trio way.

The Verdict: With Collen still touring and playing with Def Leppard, they won't hit the road until the fall. If the whole album sounded like the first two songs, it would be one of the best albums I've heard this year. As it stands, it won't come close.

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