FICTION SYXX – The Alternate Me [2020 reissue]

FICTION SYXX - The Alternate Me [2020 reissue] full

After a successful debut album in 2017, FICTION SYXX released their last album “The Alternate Me” last year, now being reissued 2020 for a proper re-vamp.
Founded by musicians with years of experience namely vocalist Mark Allen Lanoue (Biloxi, Chasing Karma), JK Northrup (XYZ, King Kobra), and Eric Ragno (Joe Lynn Turner, Graham Bonnet), and with players such as Tony Franklin (The Firm, Blue Murder) on bass, FICTION SYXX’s aim for melodic rock with a modern sound.
Opener ‘My Darkest Hour’ is the perfect picture of what the band wants to propose: power bubbling from Ragno’s keys, hooky guitars and strong vocal from Lanoue.

‘Monster In The Mist’ is even better, JK’s production being solid, silky and hard rock at a time. Note a superb wah wah solo and Lanoue at the top of his art. Many guitars masterfully envelop Eric’s keyboards.

‘Angel of Mine’ is one of their most AOR-leaning compositions, and again, Ragno’s keys bring everything to life. This is such a buoyant song, triumphant, and really is somehow both energetic and soothing. Fiction Syxx is not easy define with a genre, because with the talent and musicianship, they can play whatever the hell they want. Proof … ‘Angel of Mine’.

If you want to go the other direction, and hear some rocking stuff, you can glom onto “Better Part of Me.” The breakdowns are searing, and drummer Rory Faciane owns this track with the tempo changes and fills. Like all great bands, the song should always come first or it’s blather, but as individuals, the talent across the board here is obvious. May be the best guitar solos to be found on the album, and that’s saying a lot.

If you’ve heard Lanoue in his other bands/projects, people always say he sounds a bit like Dennis DeYoung. Lanoue embraced that as they cover the STYX hit “Suite Madame Blue.” Now, putting yourself out there covering Styx is one thing, but this song is all about the vocals, and Lanoue owns it. Maybe a surprising cover, but once you hear it, you know it belongs on ”The Alternate Me”.

The album ends with “Tragic Magic” and the Uriah Heep cover “The Wizard.” If you took that whole “wasn’t all that much fun” comment to heart, you can now burn it to ashes and maybe even smoke them, because Fiction Syxx completely lets loose on “Tragic Magic.”
Although some of the other tracks sound like hits, this is likely the one you’ll keep coming back to. Ragno even has a sort of swirly ’70s vibe to his keys.
“The Wizard” is of course a hippy ’70s song, and suddenly the razored guitar playing gets fat, in a good way. This had to be a riot for Ragno to play as well; keys are a main component to this composition. It’s really a perfect ending to the release.

Congrats to the guys from Fiction Syxx for creating something actually sounds a bit different in the melodic rock field. The album is high quality, socially conscious, peaceful, moody, mysterious, melodic, and most of all, fun.
So whether you barter with magic mushrooms or gold, ‘The Alternate Me’ gives you nothing but strong alternatives, wherever you may turn…
Highly Recommended


01 – My Darkest Hour
02 – Monster In The Mist
03 – Angel Of Mine
04 – The Alternate Me
05 – Wind Reminds Me
06 – Carry The Light
07 – Foolish Pride
08 – Better Part Of Me
09 – Tall Dark Secrets
10 – Suite Madame Blue
11 – Tragic Magic
12 – The Wizard

Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar– Mark Allen Lanoue
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Jk Northrup
Bass – Larry Hart, Tony Franklin
Drums – Rory Faciane
Keyboards – Eric Ragno

Dennis DeYoung (tracks: 10)
Jk Northrup (tracks: 1, 4)
Ken Hensley (tracks: 12)
Mark Allen Lanoue (tracks: 1 to 9 and 11)
Mark Clarke (tracks: 12)



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