Famous Underground is a hard rock band hailing from Toronto, Canada, boasting Juno-award winning vocalist Nick Walsh. It's clear that this record is still genuine and it isn't some washed-up middle aged man trying to reclaim his glory days with others willing to keep the dream alive. This is a collection of 13 solid hard-rock songs that will keep any fan of the late-80s/early to mid-90s hard rock entertained.

The record kicks off with my two favorite songs on the album, "Wasteland" and "Overdrive." "Wasteland" is pretty much the quickest we see the band get on the record, which is a bit of a disappointment. That's one of my critiques for this record, but I'll get to that later. There's a lot of interesting melodic choices both in the riffs and vocals here. The main riff reminds me of Alice in Chains in that it's an odd rhythmic pattern but still down-and dirty and groovy. The chorus with Walsh screaming "Welcome to the wasteland" was among my favorites throughout. "Overdrive" is a mid-tempo, drum-and-bass driven song and features my favorite verse riff on the record. I can't help think of Alice in Chains on this one either, as it is unrelentingly heavy and dark with still having an injection of melody and an interesting solo.

There is a good amount to like on this album. Other stand-out tracks include "Mommy Is A Junkie," "Necropolis." That said, I feel like the band relied too much on the same formula for these songs. Sometimes when they decide to base most of the song off of simple, mid-tempo, Drop-D chord progressions, it gets a little stale like on "Bullet Train" and "Dead Weight". There's also two power ballads on here if that's your thing. They're definitely well-written, but I can't help but not take them seriously after listening to so much Steel Panther. Overall, I would've liked if this debut release was an EP. That said, this is definitely an ambitious outing from a band that's taking on a genre that isn't necessarily relevant minus the few bands that try to re-live the heyday by still continuing and milking their career for every cent it's worth (Skid Row, I'm looking your way). I can't think of many bands from this era who are hard rock bands that are worthy of anyone's attention minus Gypsyhawk and The Black Moods (whose album I reviewed on this site previously). Although I can't say this album is re-inventing the wheel, it definitely has very good songwriting, great vocals, interesting lyrics, impressive musicianship, and good production. Despite a few flaws (not to mention one of the worst album covers I've ever seen) Famous Underground's self-titled debut is worth checking out if you're a fan of any of the bands mentioned.