Stand Your Ground
2018 - Nick Sterling / IndieExtreme, LLC. This is our first introduction to Nick and his music. Sterling is a Purple Heart recipient who served in the infantry of the United States Army. We take this time and opportunity to thank him for his service. Nonetheless, this seven-song album is more of a healing project for Mr. Sterling than it is a musical endeavor. The musical arrangements are quite stunning, elegant and professionally produced; nonetheless, it is Nick’s lack of vocal talents and novice lyrics that bring this album down. Nick contains a set of gruff vocals that at times does sound good, but most of the times are quite amateur. With a bit of help, perhaps he can strive to create a vocal style that is more entertaining. I have to give credit to Nick for writing all of the songs on this project; however, most of the songs really do not have a purpose. At times, the lyrics are confusing as they lack a direct plot or subject to create a strong story that keeps the listener’s interest. This is quite common with beginner songwriters. Then again, perhaps the reason I am not relating to these songs is that I did not serve in the Military or war. Nonetheless, I did connect with the title track. “Stand Your Ground” is a gentle ballad that speaks about dealing with one’s own demons. Although this song does have a couple of promising verses, overall at times, it is hard to follow the plot. The other song I wish to bring to your attention is “Just Getting Started.” This song contains a catchy tune, which is very reminiscent of Bon Jovi’s “Blaze of Glory.” Nonetheless, the over all composure of the song is quite similar to one we have heard before and are unable to place it at the time of printing. In the end, this album is more likely for those who served in war, than it is for the common country fan as it sounds better using studio quality headphones verses playing it through general speakers. Perhaps Nick Sterling’s path is that of helping his fellow soldiers with his music than becoming a well-known country rock entertainer. $$
(This review was printed in the May / June 2018 issue of Strictly Country Magazine.)
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