chain reaction
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chain reaction

Dearborn Heights, Michigan, United States | SELF

Dearborn Heights, Michigan, United States | SELF
Band Rock Classic Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Electric Playground disc review"

Review: Chain Reaction - Electric Playground

Chain Reaction – Electric Playground
2004, Rathoboz Music

Chain Reaction hails from Detroit, Michigan, and pumps out original classic rock songs with a fierce intensity. Chain Reaction is headed by Eric Harabadian (lead vox, guitar) who is also a writer for publications such as Downbeat, Jazz Times, the Detroit Free Press and Goldmine Magazine. Joined by guitarist Bobby D., drummer Jeff and bass guitar man Larry, Harabadian struts his stuff through 6 original tunes and two covers on Chain Reaction’s sixth album, Electric Playground.

Electric Playground opens with Shallow Valor, a treatise on the downside of fame. The song has a great driving guitar part. The very open sound of the CD gives the impression of a live performance or even dropping by a friend’s house to check out his garage band. This adds an enjoyable twist. Up next is a very reverent cover of Cream's White Room. There’s nothing new here, but if you like the original you’ll have no complaints with the Chain Reaction cover. Burnin’ Midnight Oil has some interesting guitar work to it. It’s a good song but I couldn’t get too excited about it. The Party Principle is an update of Chain Reaction’s own original song. Once again, the guitar work is interesting (quite excellent, really). The vocals are competent, but I just had a hard time getting interested in the song itself.

If You Only Knew is a sweet song of longing. This one sounds just right. I suspect that if the right band were to pick this up and cover it we could be talking big hit. It almost has a Mark Knopfler feel to it. Honey Child is a great party tune. This is the sort of song that will keep your feet moving on a Friday or Saturday night. It’s inspired by the blending of blues and rock that Eric Clapton built his career on. Where’s The Beauty is the most modern sounding track on the album. I could hear this having some minor commercial potential. The disc closes out with a Hendrix-inspired version of the Star Spangled Banner, done as a tribute to US Troops.

Chain Reaction is a sharp Rock N Roll outfit. I suspect their live shows are quite fun and lively affairs. Electric Playground I am very mixed on. There is some good to great material here, but the production seems to stifle the band/songs. The production values here sound very 1960’s/1970’s – the sound is repressed and held at bay. Shallow Valor is the only track that sounds at all raw, but raw Rock N Roll seems to be what Chain Reaction is about. The disc is misleading because it makes Chain Reaction sound less energetic and alive than they undoubtedly are. It’s a shame. Electric Playground is a decent listen when it should be, at least, a Very Good listen.

Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Chain Reaction at You can purchase a copy of Electric Playground at

Posted by Wildy Haskell at 5:00 AM

Labels: Chain Reaction, Detroit Free Press, Dire Straits, Downbeat, Goldmine, Hazz Times, Jimi Hendrix, Mark Knopfler

No comments: - By Wildy Haskell/Wildy's World

"Out of the Dark disc review"

Chain Reaction

Out of the Dark

Review by Gary Hill

This is an interesting band. My guess is they are a lot better live than on album. That’s partly a function of the recording we are presented with here. It’s also a function of the fact that it feels like they might “dumb down” their music for the CD. With all of that in mind, let’s look a bit closer at what we’ve got here.

First, we’ll address the music. The band seem to consider their sound to be heavily influenced by progressive rock and leaning in that direction. I’m not 100 percent convinced to be honest, but there’s enough evidence here to put them that category. Truly they seem very well rooted in classic rock and have definite forays into the progressive vein. The music is well written and performed and works pretty well.

The biggest problem with this CD is the production. The vocals need a bit more presence to them. The drums are too high in the mix and feel really stiff. Don’t get me wrong, the sound here is clean – almost too clean. It feels downright sterile at times. There could be three explanations for this – lousy equipment, an inexperienced producer or a combination of both. As clean as this sounds, my guess is that it’s all in the hands of the producer. It’s hard to get a “good” sound without becoming lackluster. I’d guess that the producer – who happens to also be the engineer and lead guitarist, hasn’t had a lot of experience with production and that shows. This isn’t a bad recording, but the music really deserves better.

Track by Track Review

The Black Hole
A classic rock sound leads this off and they launch out into a bluesy, jazzy sort of jam that’s quite cool. They shift out more towards a psychedelia meets prog approach on the chorus. The instrumental segment that comes in afterwards has a very tasty guitar solo. A rather stripped down progressive rock segment is used as the bridge and I love how the guitar continues to solo through many of the vocal sections as they continue from there. It becomes quite powerful and involved before they fade it down.

In Our Own Image
This is a lot more straightforward rock and roll in texture. It’s still got some progressive rock elements, but they are rather understated. The lyrics seem to be Christian in nature.

Daily Grind
The motif that starts this makes you think you might be headed towards a reggae mode. Instead this works out into a proggy song structure is rather balladic.

Tale of Two Cities
They bring this in with a more keyboard based sound. Somehow this feels a little awkward, but on the other hands it’s one of the more blatantly progressive rock oriented songs on show here. There are a few different sections here and this has some of the more interesting lyrics on the album. The extended instrumental segment on this is quite cool, even if the drums seem a little high in the mix and a little sterile.

Just Don't Get It
A folky sort of texture brings this one up. It feels like a singer songwriter cut as they bring in the vocals. I almost hear some Arlo Guthrie in the delivery here.

Sex Education
Here we have a jazzy sort of jam that’s a lot of fun. It reminds me quite a bit of something from OnOffOn. I like the guitar solo on this a lot.

New World Frontier
A faster paced hard rock sound makes up the central theme to this. This is another track that has some killer guitar soloing.

Is Anybody Out There
This is one of the most progressive songs on show here. It’s an energetic jam with some intriguing changes. This is also one of the most effective tracks here. There are some more Christian images on the lyrics here. As strong as this is in comparison to the rest of the material, it’s a great choice to close things.

- By Gary Hill

"Out of the Dark disc review"

Chain Reaction: Out of the Dark

Chain Reaction Band celebrates guitar-rock virtuosity on Out of the Dark, which is a compilation of previous recordings. Chain Reaction experiments with Blues, Psychedelia and Prog-Rock in order to render their listeners insatiable. However, the remainder of their catalogue is plagued by mystery as it is quite difficult to locate prior releases such as Musical Chairs, High Noon, and Out of the Ruins. Nevertheless, Out of the Dark serves as a perfect introduction to a hard-working band that has long paid its dues in the Detroit music scene. They're not exactly the hipsters that the White Stripes are, nor are they a proto-punk band in the vein of the Stooges or the MC5, yet lead guitarist Bob Drozdzewski sets his guitar ablaze more fiercely than Ted Nugent ever could and still manages to tame things down long enough for lead singer Eric Harabadian to belch out some soulful lyrics. While Out of the Dark displays a fun-loving group of musicians playing well-conceived straight-ahead rock and roll, there are moments on this album such as "Sex Education" and "New World Frontier" that prove this band can write socially conscious lyrics without overstepping their boundaries as musicians. To lump this album into a specific genre or to compare Chain Reaction to any band before them would be to no avail. Out of the Dark does not do Chain Reaction justice for the simple fact that they are a live band that thrives on playing gigs in seedy dives where they are unrestricted in terms of attaining a higher realm in the musical kingdom. Disregarding the fact that they rarely play outside of Michigan is enough incentive to pick up a copy of Out of the Dark so that the infection can begin.

-Nessim Halioua

- By Nessim Halioua

"Electric Playground review"

Chain Reaction: Electric PlaygroundChain Reaction: Electric Playground

Before I talk about the band, Id like to take a second to acknowledge the innovative album cover art. The artist created a musical theme park where excited people play on rides formed from various instruments with bright, shiny colors. This Electric Playground is a perfect little glimpse into what the disc inside has in store for its listener.

There is no doubt in my mind that these guys not only know how to rock, but also know how to have a good time. It is clear that they enjoy playing together and sound as though they would thrive on the live performance. This is the band for all those guys who get up on the nearest coffee table and play air guitar when they think nobody is looking.

While it may be difficult to pin down just one or two influences for this trio from Detroit, I think I can safely label them a rock band of the most original use of the term. They may experiment in areas like psychedelia and prog-rock, but really, they are rockers, pure and simple. They are not indie rock or pop rock, but more of the classic rock I used to hear quite frequently in the 80s while yelling at my dad to turn down the volume.

The album is of quality production and displays their level of detail in musical arrangements. The songs are of their own creation, except for their performance of Creams White Room and the album closer which is Bob Drozdzewski playing The Star Spangled Banner on his electric guitar. I have to say the album closer is a little less than innovative.

I have to admit, this is not usually the kind of album I would pull off the shelf and listen to, but that is because of this reviewers particular musical tastes, not because of the quality of the album itself. I would definitely feel comfortable passing this off to a friend, especially the one I caught playing air guitar and imagining himself in front of a screaming crowd of girls.

-Lisa Town


- By Lisa Town


"Sonic Motion" (cassette demo) 1990 Rathoboz Music
"Out of the Ruins" ( full-length cassette) 1991 Rathoboz Music
" High Noon" ( CD/EP) 1992 Rathoboz Music
" Musical Chairs" ( full-length cassette) 1996 Rathoboz Music
" Out of the Dark" ( full-length CD) 1998 Rathoboz Music
" Electric Playground" ( full-length CD) 2004 Rathoboz Music
"Jam Rag Family Album" (2 CD set various aritsts) 1998: Chain Reaction--"Black Hole"
"Pop Cycle" ( CD various artists) 1998 Zahmbee-Karlt Records: Chain Reaction--"Sometimes"
"Departure: The Compilation Gate 3" ( CD various artists) 1999 Wright Music Group: Chain Reaction--"The Black Hole" & "Tale of Two Cities"


Feeling a bit camera shy


Detroit's Chain Reaction is a group that has weathered a number of musical storms/ trends and has stood the test of time. Why? Because with this band it's always been about the music and we do our utmost to bring it strong with every performance. We also care about the audiences that we play for and sincerely know that when they lay down their hard-earned money they should expect to be entertained. Well, it may sound like a cliche, but we work hard to maintain that relationship and trust.
Briefly, some of our career highlights are as follows:
* We've release five official independent recordings "Out of the Ruins" (1991), "High Noon" (1992), "Musical Chairs" (1996), "Out of the Dark" (1998) and "Electric Playground" (2004).
* We've appeared on several radio and television programs on stations such as WDET-FM, WHFR-FM, WHND-AM, WPON-AM, CIMX-FM, WRIF-FM, WBBN-FM, COMCAST NETWORKS, etc.
* Consistently been a live Midwestern performing and recording act since 1987.
* Performed a number of charity events, including "Rockin' for Relief," which raised over $1000 for the Am. Red Cross 9-11 Fund and various Salvation Army Katrina and Tsunami Relief efforts.
* Received media coverage in magazines such as Gig, Jam Rag, Performing Songwriter, Geoff Wilbur's Renegade Newsletter, Metro Times and newspapers The Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News and others.
* Members of Chain Reaction have opened for national/international acts like Vince Neil, Mitch Ryder, Veruca Salt, Warrant, Trapt, Kings X, Fishbone, Dick Wagner, Alex Skolnick (Trans-Siberian Orch./Testament), Joey Gaydos Jr. (School of Rock movie), Gary Hoey, Michael Schenker and Frijid Pink.