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February 8, 2023

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Wayne Kramer
Citizen Wayne (Epitaph Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Wayne Kramer is back with another solo album! The co-founder of the legendary 70's punk band The MC5 (Motor City five), has found another creative outlet, his solo career. A different kind of rock. Imagine straight ahead rock and roll mixed with soft rock, pop rock, and hard rock and you will get an idea of what Wayne Kramer's solo material sounds like. With his third solo album, he proves that he is lyrically strong, and still holds his ideals from his days in the MC5.

Wayne kicks it off with "Stranger in the House," which starts off with some industrial programming. One of the album stand outs, the translation to the chorus will get you into the song. Also, Wayne is very good at his lyrics. So, even if you don't find the music itself appealing, the lyrics might still grab your ears and make you want to listen to the track over and over again. Wayne has experienced a lot, and he can share some of his wisdom through his words, and that is just what he does on this album. Another stand out track on the album, Revolution in Apt. 29," starts out with some good old rock and roll guitar. Then some light cymbals come into play. Once the vocals hit you, the song will remind you of what rock and roll is about. Just good fun. But Wayne always throws a twist into the mix. His lyrics are always there to prove a point, or to tell you a story about life and our society, and this song is no exception! Track seven, "No Easy Way Out," goes back to the style that Wayne is good at. Serious lyrics through a soft rock song. His voice is able to get his point across loud and clear! And the music on this track will force you to listen. This song is very well composed! Wayne ends the album with, "A farewell to Whiskey." Just Wayne on his guitar, and not even lyrics. Just a gentle farewell to a drink he knows a lot about. A perfect way to end the album. Soft, melodic, and it will make you intake what you have just heard! If you weren't convinced before, you should be now! Wayne is a musical genius.

Although the lyrics are strong, and Wayne is very talented, sometimes the album slips as Wayne is experimenting with new musical ideas. What he is good at is good old rock and roll, and when it comes down to that, Wayne shines like the sun, but when he slips into another musical hat, I feel the album starts to fall. I would give this album a B+ score. Like I said, when Wayne gets down to rock the 70's way, he is quite good at it! But when he doesn't, he lost my attention.

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