Local CD Reviews

Jackson Rohm and the Hot Rails

Jackson Rohm

(self-released)

Acoustic Sessions

jacksonrohm.com

"I'm such a baby when I don't get my way," croons Jackson Rohm in "One More Fourth of July" on his sixth full-length CD. The guy has a soft side that he's not afraid to show, but that's no reason to hate him. Rohm does the singer-songwriter thing really well. Playing in an acoustic format for the first time, he doesn't suffer from a stripped-down approach. Rohm sounds sharp in gentle ballads like "Not Him Anymore" and "Bleeding." While there's a plethora of love songs, Rohm expands his lyrical palette with "These Four Walls," a terrific anthem about throwing caution to the wind. — Jeff Niesel

Jackson Rohm performs at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 25, at West Park Station (17015 Lorain Rd, 216.476.2000, westparkstation.com). Free.

The Hot Rails

Single Entendre

(self-released)

myspace.com/hotrailsmusic.com

Led by singer Ken Janssen, who firmly believes louder is better, the Hot Rails kick some serious ass on this unrelenting CD that marries classic-rock riffs with indie-rock attitude. "Trigger Finger" starts with what sounds like swarming locusts before the guitars kick in and Janssen screams, "I need a $2 drink and some $10 head." It's nasty stuff. "I Am Supernatural (But I Don't Believe in the Supernatural)," "Other Man" and "Dealbreaker" are irreverent dirges that sound like they crawled out of Seattle's grunge scene. "Dickson, T.N." is a gritty Southern rock ballad, "Snakes n' Sparklers" is a great party tune, and "Death From Above" packs a mean metal punch. — Niesel

The Hot Rails perform with Banderas, All Dinosaurs and Party Sweat at 9 p.m. Saturday, March 27, at the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124, beachlandballroom.com). Tickets: $5 advance, $7 day of show.

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