Album review: FICTION SYXX – The Alternate Me

FICTION SYXX - The Alternate Me

MelodicRock Records [Release date 28.06.19]

Fiction Syxx follow up last year’s debut ‘Tall Dark Secret’ with ‘The Alternate Me’. Fiction Syxx is the brain child of songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Mark Allen Lanoue and he is joined again by guitarist JK Northrup (King Kobra/XYZ), drummer Rory Faciane and on keyboards Eric Ragno (Joe Lynn Turner/Graham Bonnet/The Babys). There is one new recruit since last time, namely Larry Hart (Montrose, King Kobra) taking over bass duties from Tony Franklin.

Fiction Syxx do everything to the maximum, be it the crunching guitar riffs, show stopping keyboard solos or layered back vocals, and all too good effect as the driving rocker ‘Tragic Magic’ shows. For something a little lighter, the AOR of ‘Carry The Light’ hits the spot nicely. Whereas ‘Talk Dark Secrets’ is ushered in on a wave of keys and guitars, to lead into one of the album’s more progressive moments. There is a massive chorus on this one too.

Couple of interesting covers this time around, both by classic bands, namely Styx and Uriah Heep, but the songs chosen are not ones normally covered from the bands. First up is ‘The Wizard’ by Uriah Heep, which has more emphasis on the guitar and ends up rockier than the original. The band’s take on Styx’s ‘Suite Madame Blue’ is stunning, from the acoustic and electric guitar intro, the keys and groovy bass line, through to vocals, where the band manage to recreate the distinctive harmonies that are a big part of the Styx sound. Both will hopefully open up the band’s music to new listeners.

Fiction Syxx are hard to pigeonhole, as they cover progressive rock, AOR, melodic rock and more. Their key goal is melody though and ‘The Alternate Me’ sees them building on their strong debut album. Really hope they do get and play live as they have a good selection of songs across the two albums. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.

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Power Plays w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

BEFORE FIRE Dead Eyes (indie)
SCOTT & MARIA Never Give Up (indie)
CORELEONI Queen Of Hearts (AFM Records)
BERLIN Transcendance (Cleopatra Records)
PHIL CAMPBELL These Old Boots (Nuclear Blast)
PHIL LANZON Blue Mountain (Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records UK)

Featured Albums w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 SOLEIL MOON Warrior (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 ROXY BLUE Roxy Blue (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS Dragons (Magnolia Music/Thirty Tigers)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

JAMES STEVENSON Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over (2013)

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