Roberts, Peter (Army) - 1981 Peter Roberts Army
ARTIST: Roberts, Peter (Army)
ALBUM: Peter Roberts Army
LABEL: Big Mouth
SERIAL: 6.24 818
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Peter Roberts - vocals, guitar * Carmine Rojas - bass, piano * Alex Mikulicz - drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Only A Game * 02 TV-Lover * 03 Dreamer * 04 All Night Long * 05 Running And Hiding * 06 Feel My Love * 07 Wildcat * 08 Child Of Today
What can I tell you about this album? Not much unfortunately, despite much intensive searching. From what I can derive, the band was based in West Germany, where the album was recorded.
Peter Roberts himself appears to be American, with an extensive history in both production and playing. Roberts is almost a one man outfit, composing all songs, while shredding his guitar in early 80's Randy Rhoads fashion.
The cover of the album would indicate a heavy metal affair, but it's really marginal, with Roberts taking on everything from pomp, hard rock to outright AOR.
His sidekicks Rojas (David Bowie) and Mikulicz are fairly accomplished studio types, giving this a professional feel, far from the dodgy production so many similar albums suffered from back then.
This is a short album, with only 8 tracks on offer, most of them above average.
'Only A Game' opens the recording with some muscular melodic hard rock that could almost be .38 Special at their heaviest.
'T.V. Lover' is a fairly typical sounding title from the era, delivering up some Axe styled riffs during the intro, before falling into line with listenable, yet predictable melody lines, somewhere between hard rock and metal.
'Dreamer' is a pomp exercise, this one heading towards the Trillion or Zon zone of melodic rock. Check out the chorus for example, so early 80's it's breathtaking.
Taking yet another tangent is 'All Night Long' and its rampant heavy metal approach, a complete nod to Tygers of Pan Tang during their 'Spellbound' era. For that you can throw in More and their 'Warhead' debut also.
Roberts sounds a touch like Phil Lynott on 'Running and Hiding' which reverts back to the hard rock overtones of earlier, but is quite repetitive.
Then out of nowhere comes the full-fledged AOR of 'Feel My Love,' which in all honesty is a stunning track. This is as pure as it comes, Roberts sounding like Corey Hart before he ever showed up, with some genuinely exciting moments, especially the hook, which pays off nicely. If you can find this, give it a listen. What a shame there wasn't more of it.
'Wildcat' is an atmospheric metal piece with the emphasis on the riffing. I could easily imagine Accept writing this too, especially on 'Breaker'.
The NWOBHM influence crops up again on 'Child of Today,' this time making me think of early Demon.
Obviously this was the only output from this particular Army, but it's a solid album, even with its erratic direction. Roberts would go on to produce and write for artists like La Toya Jackson, Jimi Jamison, and Irene Cara, which isn't too shabby I suppose. Why he never made a follow up to this is another question and one we might never know. The potential was certainly there.
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