New Jersey rocker, John Taglieri has just released his 14th effort, True Believer. Largely a DIY EP, it is released on his Leap Dog Music label. The EP is a six-song hard rock release with Taglieri writing five of the six tracks and playing all instruments on most of them. It was engineered and produced by Taglieri in his own Dawg Pound Studios in Hanson, MA and mixed by Lee Turner in Nashville.
The music is New Jersey-filtered hard rock, with AOR grandeur. Taglieri has taken a Bon Jovi blueprint and built his own musical house, full of guitars that grind and drums that pound. The EP sounds great, but I believe that John could prosper as part of a proper band, working with a producer that could bring the best out of his songs. I feel he somewhat suffers from not having support in his musical venture here, although some other musicians, such as John Calendrillo, do lend a bit of a hand on some tracks.
I have listened to the EP quite a bit this last week and it does have some really good songs on it. The trouble is that John Taglieri does everything well without fully realising his strengths, which I think could be songwriting or guitar work. His vocals, although OK, do seem somewhat off-key on the title track and it really put me off what was a good song in “True Believer“.
The title track follows, with the vocals diluting what would have been a pretty solid tune. I really liked the chiming chords that kick off the track.
The EP’s highlights for me are the chugging anthem “Take This Ride” and the final blast of “Mad Mad World” with its driving ambition.
John is a good songwriter and guitarist, but he would really shine if he were to hook up with a top-notch vocalist like Chandler Mogel of Radio Exile. In the meantime, he sounds like he’s enjoying making great hard rock and that is exactly what he should be doing!