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No Dice 
self-titled EP

No Dice is the Classic Rock covers band featuring Alec Pollock (Chasar, Exit/Monitor Lizard) on lead guitar and vocalist Gregor McGregor (Exit/Monitor Lizard) which has been tearing it up around Central Scotland for the past year-and-a-bit now.   The line-up is completed by Davie Shearer on drums, Gordon 'Gudge' Fyall (Grumpy Cats) on bass  and Finn Marshall (Monitor Lizard) on guitar   This EP is intended for sale at gigs, but can also be sourced through Trax Studio. These are studio recordings (except for the final track, AC/DC's classic 'Whole Lotta Rosie', which sounds very much like a soundcheck recording added here as a wee bonus) and the production is uniformly excellent throughout.  

The band's live set stretches from old favourites by the likes of Rush and Bad Company to more recent material in the rock vein, and this is reflected in the surprisingly eclectic mix of tracks here.  First up is the Whitesnake gem 'Fool For Your Lovin'', which is given the straight-ahead rock treatment, somewhere between the original and the revamped Vai version in tone.  This sets the pace for the rest of the songs as there's no attempt here at 'soundalikes' - the band is certainly not afraid to put its own stamp on these tunes.  Next up, by way of complete contrast is The Police's 'Message in A Bottle' - McGregor having no trouble with those impossible Sting registers plus the welcome addition of some very cool fusion-style guitar work.

The next two tracks emphasise the newer sounds the band covers.   First up is 'Just Lookin'' (Travis?  Stereophonics?  I don't know, that sort of thing at any rate) followed by a fairly faithful (though storming) take on U2's 'Beautiful Day'.  both are decent enough tracks, particularly the latter, but I get the feeling that the band's lack of the same kind of familiarity with these selections as they have with the older material leads to a less adventurous approach.  

This is emphasised by the next track, the highlight of the EP - a powerful take on Pink Floyd's 'Comfortably Numb'.  This is really spot-on - dark, heavy and passionate
progressive epic of exactly the kind they don't make anymore.   Things are rounded off with the afore-mentioned 'Rosie', which after '...Numb' is a bit of light relief and, as ever an excuse for Alec to give it laldy on the solos.  No complaints there then.

Keep your eyes peeled for No Dice gigs in the New Year, as based on the evidence of these sounds they'll be well worth checking out.  In the meantime, you could do a lot worse than pick up a copy of this EP.

Craig Hughes, 2001