World Gone Mad is the latest release from Connecticut rock outfit, The Kris Heaton Band. The 12 track album takes a look at this mixed up, crazy world and tries to put a positive spin on it, encouraging hope, courage, and perseverance.

'Who Let the Bullets Fly' rings out with the steadfast conviction of pointed heartland rock. Big sustained chords give the foundation for an anthemic synth line that conjures a bellowing Whoa-oh-oh refrain. The singer questions hate and violence and advocates for peace and tolerance. The influence from The Boss on this track is palpable. Heaton gives the song the full E Street Band treatment complete with tinkling piano notes amidst the wall of sound and the gospel-like vocal delivery to bring it home. However, Springsteen would be the first to admit that “borrowing” is a natural part of rock n roll. He famously described in his 2012 keynote address to SXSW that he lifted many of his classic moves and songwriting techniques from his idols, The Animals.

The title track 'World Gone Mad' leads with an arpeggiated guitar riff with a decidedly '80s flair, a mood amplified by moody, airy synthesizers. 'When the Sun Goes Down' is a laid back, wholesome southern love song. The band plays it simple and smooth giving Heaton room to stretch out. The album becomes increasingly ballad oriented culminating in the finale 'Better World'.

Kris Heaton's band has some catchy tracks but overall not much to set it a part from any others releasing palatable classic rock. Although the musicianship is technically sound, there are times in the up-tempo numbers when the rhythm and the lyrics feel clunky and forced. The album is good but not great.