It would have been difficult to review Two Beasts without some mention of John Cougar Mellencamp. First, the Why Store produced this impressive sophomore effort with Mellencamp's longtime guitarist Mike Wanchic. Second, the Heartland quintet hails from Indiana, Mellencamp's home state. But then, Two Beasts doesn't need an indirect connection to Mellencamp to legitimize it, and truth be told, this probably would have been an impressive CD even without Wanchic's participation. The passionate and bluesy Chris Shaffer is as fine a songwriter as he is a lead singer, and it's obvious how talented he is on such earthy offerings as "Manic Man," "Working" and "Do Do Do." You won't find trendy or pretentious songwriting on this CD, just straightforward, uncomplicated rock & roll that thrives on melody and more melody. Those who enjoyed the Why Store's previous album will also find a lot to admire about Two Beasts.