The guys in this hard rock outfit cite a wide range of musical influences that includes Jethro Tull, Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, and Journey, but it's hard to hear the Tull and/or Journey influences on this six-song EP that commences with the driving, Foo Fighters-like "Back Inside." In fact, the heavier the song, the better the results. With its hypnotic guitar riff and snee ring vocals, "Passenger" verges on stoner rock and the same goes for "In the Sky," a song that simmers with Black Sabbath-inspired guitar riffs and vocals that recall Ozzy. The acoustic intro to "Always New" makes it come off as a Stone Temple Pilots' tune and the guitar work in "Crawlin' Around" is really superb. Overall, though, the rough sound mix doesn't really do these songs justice. — Jeff Niesel
Synical Son performs at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 20 at The Maple Grove in Maple Heights.