The Great Fraud – American Dream | Album Review

The Great Fraud – American Dream

Federal Records

15 tracks – 1 Hour, 8 Minutes

Born of basement jams in 2011 and 2012, Joe Marrero was the creator of the band.  Singer, songwriter and guitar player, Morrero solicited Taso Zahariadis to play bass, Tony Marchesani to play drums and Reese Karlan to play harmonica.  They won the 2012 NYC Hard Rock Battle of the Bands, released their first CD and made a splash in the NY/NJ area.  Their second album of blues rock is entitled American Dream, something the band feels may not be real or at least attainable.

The band opens with “Life is Good,” a tune about a New Yorker who goes to Hollywood and gives up his local success to seek fame and fortune.  It’s a stinging blues rocker with a heavy guitar lead and gritty vocals.  The title track follows, another retro rocker, this time about the fiction of the American dream. Another massive guitar solo is included.  “When You Are Lost In Your Mind” is next, with more of Marrero’s gritty and grimy vocals and a steady, driving mid tempo beat.  An ethereal sounding bridge is featured here in this spooky sort of cut. Next up is “Down to the River to Drown.” At this point I’m thinking this is the urban, NY version of Drive By Truckers.  Focusing on society’s flaws and foibles and the pain within everyday life seems to be the norm with these guys.  And they sell it.  “Johnny Boy”is a sparse acoustic guitar and vocals cut to tell us about a boy going off to war to die.  The bass and drums come in but keep the feeling minimalistic and dark.  and guess what?  Johnny of course dies.

“Moonflower” is next and it’s a driving rocker with stratospheric guitar and shouted vocals. “Got to Run” follows, another uptempo and frenetic cut.  Escaping life and it’s hardships is the theme here. “Idiot’s Paradise” is another commentary on society and how we learn to like some parts of life enough to accept the bad stuff we get forced down our throats.  “Take Me Down Slow” follows, a very bluesy sounding track about meeting the devil (who is sleeping in their bed).  “Looking Out For You” is a blues rocking rockabilly sort of cut about looking for his girl who is running around; it’s high energy and explosive stuff here with a harp and guitar solo to drink up..

“Troubled Man” is next up.  Slide and other guitar with female backing vocals a and a grisly harp make this one interesting.  “What About Me” asks why everyone else is getting help except me?  Dueling acoustic guitars are featured here in this oddly interesting piece.  “Ya Ain’t Got Love” tells us about the age old problem that no matter how much material stuff and money you have it matters not if you don’t have love.  It’s a bouncy cut with slide guitar and lots of backing vocals about the poor young girl who can’t buy love despite her success.  “Change Yourself” is a tune that tells about his girl having to change herself to get back to him and change her world.  The CD concludes with “It’s All Over Now,” another dark cut about each of not being too significant in life.  When we are gone the wars of life will go on.

The Great Fraud paint life in America as a deep and dark place.  It’s an interesting commentary and the music is equally intriguing.  Mostly rock, there is a little bit of blues flavor here and there and in the true sense of the word these guys really have the blues.  If you like a rocking social commentary with a very deep and dark edge that verges on blues here and there this might interest you.  It’s different and very catchy stuff!

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