Griffin The Sideshow

Evoking images of leather and spikes, Griffin rocks out hard on their second release. Despite some less-than-cheery lyrics, The Sideshow is a fun record to throw on, especially with songs like "Shadows of Deception" and "Vengeance Is Mine" (although I'd swear he's singing "wengeance"). The album offers lots of opportunities for the band to strut their stuff, demonstrating their playing abilities, but in comparison the gruff vocals are a little sloppy at times. When Griffin slow down the pace for "Cosmic Revelation" and drift off into "Epilogue," it seems a logical way to end off the album, but the lovely classical guitar instrumental that falls right in the middle of The Sideshow sounds really out of place. However, Griffin's greatest strength lies in the choruses that highlight almost every song. The Sideshow is a pretty decent record, but when the band hits those refrains you have to struggle not to join in. (Season of Mist)