Going to be checking this band out next week when they're playing a gig just down the road from me. I consider myself very fortunate indeed especially as Wimborne isn't known as the rock'n'roll capital of the UK. Pleased they've managed to put out a third studio album and agree this is more in keeping with the debut.
I’m enjoying this album. I felt Scarecrow was a bit of a let down after the debut. One of the (very) few new melodic/AOR rock albums I can actually play all the way through without getting bored by track 3.
This is one of those unexpected surprises that comes out of nowhere. I agree with the influences mentioned in the review (although I'm not too familiar with the last two). I'll add Great White and Dokken, although definitely a much smoother and lighter version. Sweet can sound like a mellower Joe Elliott at times. The sax solos in two of the songs work surprisingly well. I think this album manages to sound different from the pack while sounding familiar and comfortable. Well, when I say "different from the pack", I have heard albums that try to achieve what this one actually does. The execution here is spot on. It manages to be one that has very good straight-through and repeat playability, and it is working well when I through the songs into a random mix.
Excellent album. The previous one was a real surprise four years ago, and they managed to surpass it with this one. It has a nice diversity among the songs, with powerful vocals and superb musicianship. Nygren has the same theatrical vocal style as Toby Hitchcock. And on the two songs that Hosford sings ( "She's A Loaded Gun" and "To The Wire" ), you get a slightly dialed-back version of the same style - you might not even notice that it's a different singer. I really like the flow on this one, as I could quickly learn the individual songs from the start. I initially put this as my third favorite album of 2018, but I think a couple of months later it has edged past the Jerome Mazza album for number two.
I'm still in the process of getting to know this album. It certainly sounds very good, with a top-notch vocalist in LaBlanc and a solid group of musicians. And the songs are very good too. It's just a case of them blending together a bit too much, as is often the case these days. I need to give it more time, which I will, as it is a very good album. I wish I could hear "Desperate Dreams" with fresh ears. They nail it here - one of the absolute best covers of a classic song I've heard on a modern album. But that Survivor album is one I usually play at least twice a month and one that has been played hundreds and hundreds of times the past 30 years. I wonder what kind of impression Find Me's version would have given me if this was the first time I'd ever heard the song. I think for me, if that song had been about midway through the album, it would have served as an anchor where I could better break the album into distinct songs rather than a continuous block of (very good) music. I'll get there...
#12 | melodiapositiva | ? at March 12 2019 16:25:03
That´s the problem i have with krokus,inconsistence and their "Ac/dc syndrome".I love these guys when they are themselves (fire,winning man,streamer,say goodbye,world on fire...)but when they repit the samey riffs over and over again ,it bores me ...
Hoodo was a very consistent album in the metal rendez vous style ,but i would prefer another Headhunter than another One vice a time repetitive stuff.
This one is a bit feather weight, but it was par for the course then, a la Dupree, Doheny, Photoglo etc. If it had ended up sounding like the first Christopher Cross lp, then we might have been talking..
Eric Pressly and Keely Hawkes were in the excellent alternative synth rock band Transister in the mid 90s. One album on Virgin. Pressly had first worked with his future wife on her pop solo album in '93. Always loved the Transister album. Has a great vibe about it.
One of my favourite albums from 1988 and one I play regularly. Ron Perry has certainly got the pipes and 'Lost in your love' showcases this to great effect. Hard to pick a standout track as the material is uniformly excellent though like you George I'd probably chose 'Reckless days' for the vibe and memorable chorus. Buy or die as they used to say....
Did you or me nick this? You're right about the songs sounding a mess. Whenever I'd give this a blast, I could never get past the third or fourth song without feeling like I was watching Copius at The Stomach. Amateur time, man. The cassette is probably still in the big box at dad's. So that'll be 20 plus years now that it hasn't seen daylight. Maybe one day it might get lucky.
Glad to see this finally get a review George. It is indeed a terrific album and one I find myself re-visiting on a regular basis. We also need to cover Frontrunner's 'Runners in the night' which is another obscure AOR gem..
Good place to start (or should that be a Goddo place to start? Hahahahaha!) with the guys first album. For a while this was possibly the album I played the least in the Goddo canon, but over the last few years it's been the one I've probably played the most. Goddo were never the most technical or flashy of bands and they sure keep it basic on this one really rocking out for the most of the album - there's a couple of cool ballads. By the time of the follow up "Who Cares" they became a little more subtle both in delivery, song writing and studio technique and as such "Who Cares" has a little more gloss than this but not by a long stretch it still delivers in spades, this one is just that touch rawer....gotta love Goddo.
Flippin 'eck - the last time I saw pictures of either of them, especially Mr. Purser, has been some time. My they've changed...but gotta say they look well and good to see they're still up for it.
I went to see Tygers on the Cage tour probably still have my shirt in the loft. I saw them a couple of times early on with Jess Cox and with Deverill a couple of times and then after the Cage tour too, I have a soft spot for the Tygers but lost track around Burning in the Shade which was the last album I faithfully bought by them (apart from grabbing the MCA box set a couple of years back) .
The CD (bootleg?...) version of "Down To The Bone" on the Blast From The Past label, apparently from Canada, has 2 non LP bonus tracks: Walk Away Renee (a cover, from a 1983 single on Harvest) and Moon Rider (origin unknown). The b side of WAR was also another unreleased tune, called You And Me, but oddly it wasn't put on the CD above. Go figure...
I've always thought this was a better record than '5150', but still prefer the first four Roth era albums over anything they did with Sammy. I saw Van Halen headlining at Giants Stadium in 1988 but left before the end as I wanted to see Britny Fox open for Frehley's Comet at the Limelight across the river. Best decision ever. Gene and Paul appeared with Ace for an encore of 'Deuce'. First time they had played together since Ace had left KISS the first time round. The place went nuts.
By far the weakest VH album. I've rarely sat through the whole thing once over the decades. Sure there's a few decent tracks on offer, but too bland overall for a VH album. 'When It's Love' still makes me feel sick to this day.
#43 | melodiapositiva | ? at February 22 2019 17:42:50
How i miss my old lp, it sounded great but the cd version sounds brightless, toned down.
#49 | melodiapositiva | ? at February 19 2019 16:19:15
Totally agree with the review ,return is a really great band and all of their albums are worthy (except the last one) .They have a good feeling on their songs that always makes me happier when i listen to them.
Anyone have a download of this please? Missed out on a decently priced CD earlier yesterday and the one on Discogs is vastly overpriced however rare it is, even as a bootleg. Many thanks
#56 | george_the_jack | ? at February 08 2019 01:46:14
There's a City Boy feel to the video both in terms of sound and its overall aesthetics.
It might not be as polished or classy (low budget and production lacks) but it's interesting nevertheless, even if some 40 years late....
#59 | george_the_jack | ? at February 07 2019 12:59:39
So here's another very good release by these guys. They've been trying to set themselves amongst the cream of the crop of today's Swedish acts and I have to say they are not far off from achieving this!
There are of course the obvious similarities with H.E.A.T. but the main difference to my ears is that Osukaru don't try to sound Bon Jovi-esque or ''American'' if you get what I mean, unlike recent efforts by Gronwall & Co. This one is more Scandi Euro-Sounding AOR than anything else and it's done with class.
Oz knows how to write a good song with sublime chorus yet without becoming boring. I'm also a fan of Werner's vocals who puts soul and feel to his singing and he's been developing from a singer with potential to an asset for Osukaru's music.
Hope I'll get to see them soon once again - already seen them twice. They got a very passionate stage presence too.
Although it has it's moments I feel it has not as consistent as the debut which was superb. Could have done without yet another cover version of 'Gimme some lovin' and the rather naff 'Rock and roll rodeo' (terrible song title). If all the tracks had been of the calibre of 'Never meant to be' and 'Let me dream' it could have been an all time pomp rock classic!
I had somehow never heard this album until two days ago, after reading what was like a masters degree thesis on the album on the Real Gone website. And I'm someone who really enjoyed NOTB and Peace Of Mind back in high school. So I streamed this and... it's quite good! I guess I had it in my mind that Dianno was not a great vocalist, and that kept me away. Truth is, while he has a very different style than Dickinson, it works well. By this stage of my life, this album won't burn its way into my brain cells as the other ones did, but I'll put it in the rotation. What is really kind of interesting to me is that while this was considered really hard stuff in the early 80's, it is very listenable to me, so much so that I can listen to it while doing the kind of work that requires me to think. I sure as hell couldn't work to what is considered metal these days.
#64 | melodiapositiva | ? at February 05 2019 20:01:39
Return was a great band, all of their albums are great and they have a special facility to create beutiful melodies. I miss some more reviews of their albums, they deserve it.
A superb album, brimming with melody and containing numerous highlights - the review is spot on. Pick of the bunch for me is 'Pushed her too far' with it's sublime vocal harmonies and a stellar vocal performance from Mark Lennon.
#67 | melodiapositiva | ? at February 03 2019 19:55:32
Awful album imho, after such a good lp as it was with 'A Matter of Attitude'. This album sucks!
The next one 'Scratch and Sniff' is harder and it contains superb guitar work.
Merlino confirmed the line up who recorded some Axis stuff @Woodsound Studios in Monrovia, CA post debut circa 1980-1981 was him/Volpe/Davis/Johnson. Song titles: Nothing 2 lose, lost love (or one song with long title Nothing...love) & genie genie.
Singer Louie Merlino wrote on FB that he joined Axis when Appice left and Jimmy Volpe became their drummer. Volpe was then a member of Warrior, not the Vinnie Vincent and ex New England combo but the one who released "Fighting For The Earth" feat. Parramore McCarty. I seem to remember that Axis infact recorded a second, still unreleased album or say demos but I could be mistaken, and no clue if the original line up or the Merlino/Volpe/Johnson/Davis line up or what....anyone?
#72 | george_the_jack | ? at January 25 2019 19:53:41
Very true what you said about how the newer stuff mixes up better with stuff from around the same era compared to the classics. However, as far as I'm concerned and according to how I see and hear things, the turning point in today's music started taking place during the last 4-5 years - not before. It's not only Treat or FM who reverted their sound to something more modern-ish but also names like ''Find Me'', last H.E.A.T. album or most of Frontiers' ''hard rock'' releases today. I generally struggle to find music faithful to its roots that would draw direct comparisons to what I really fancy listening.
Personally, I'd rather remember 2018 for their heavy metal releases such as Judas Priest or Maverick than anything else.
#73 | melodiapositiva | ? at January 25 2019 18:51:41
I never liked this album very much ,i love Walsh voice and he still sings great here,but his compositions lacks the quality of Livgren ´s .The first song and the last are the best here ,but the ballads are really boring imho.
Mediocre at best.
#74 | melodiapositiva | ? at January 24 2019 19:16:30
Kansas never made a bad album,each one have something to offer and this is not an exception.
As Eric said in the review Ragsdale and Ehart are both supreme and i would add Williams work,a very underrated guitar player imho.
What i don´t like much is seeing Walsh voice deterioration,and
it would go to worse in next years .He was one of the best rock vocalist ever and it´s sad how bad habbits destroyed his voice.
I can respect that... I believe the current "sound" of the modern AOR era has been around long enough that it is pretty distinct from anything before the early 2000s. Production is different, and I think production standards today are quite good, especially compared with the inconsistency of ten years ago. It's just a different sound. When I create playlists for workouts, I rarely mix eras - it's either 80s (with possibly some late 70s and early 90s) or somewhere like 2006 on (more heavily 2010 and later). I enjoy both a lot, but they don't mix that well for me. I also think modern bands are starting more to try to get away from recreating the 80s songs over and over. I'm glad I like the new stuff, but I can understand how it doesn't impress others. Heck, that started to happen to me in the latter 80s when "hair metal" all started to sound the same to me, and then when grunge and other "alt rock" became the big thing. And even though I don't seek out the mainstream U.S. pop music, I hear enough of it to know that I liked it a lot better a dozen years ago, when artists like Maroon 5 actually had some good songs on the radio.
#76 | melodiapositiva | ? at January 19 2019 12:28:14
This is a very nice record ,it sounds a lot to the british band Voyager without the prog tones .The cover is really beautiful on vinyl ,a good lp for the collection in every sense.
#77 | george_the_jack | ? at January 18 2019 14:26:13
When I read your list Jeff, can't help but notice there's a ton of albums I haven't even listened once over the course of last year. That proves my deteriorating interest about new music I guess...
I found the Midnite City album flat and cheesy as a whole although it had its moments while Perfect Plan, Groundbreaker, Issa and Gioeli-Castronovo were good but nothing spectacular that'd make me want to go back and play them. I also can't get that new Jerome Mazza album that all of you liked so much. I liked his previous a lot more. The new one sounds heavily processed in the studio and very plastic for my liking.
#78 | george_the_jack | ? at January 18 2019 13:40:19
I only discovered this one recently and it's very very good so keep finding myself revisiting it. It's actually way better than anything else I listened to in 2018! That alone says a lot about how things have changed in the genre over the past few years and possibly what musical trends are set to prevail going forward. I mean this one here is traditional melodic rock in every sense (from production to songwriting and individual performances) while releases from 2018 are leaning towards more ''modern'' forms that don't do anything for me, personally. Curious what the future brings but 2017 and 2018 were hugely unispiring for me in terms of new music that reached my ears except the likes of the excellent ''The Night Light Orchestra''.
#79 | melodiapositiva | ? at January 17 2019 19:43:28
Mark free reach the stratosphere with his voice in this album ,his singing on"slow down the night" is superb,in the same league with Perry and Gramm.
Consider me fully converted to 7th Heaven's deliciously infectious sugar-coated brand of pop rock. Just listening to this makes me feel young again, though I doubt that it will cure my fast receding hairline! Guaranteed to put a smile on your face and the perfect antidote if you're looking for some light relief. Goodness only knows we could all do with it at the moment. Kudos to you George for bringing this to our attention
No, never seen any photos of the Capozzi/Robinson line-up. I'm sure there must be some live shots out there someplace, but none I've ever seen, which is surprising given the nature of the internet. I've never seen any from the Mike Clayton era either. I know that by 83 Felix Robinson had already cut his hair and was much older than Vito Bratta and Mike Tramp. There are YouTube videos out there of what Capozzi looks like as of last July. The reason he left the band was kinda connected to the look in as much as Nicky wasn't into it himself. He says as much in this video:
reyno-roxx have you ever seen photos of the Tramp-Bratta-Capozzi-Robinson line up and/or do they exist at all? I mean, if not promo photos with them all (I don't think there's any), at least photos of them in studio in Frankfurt or during rehearsals or live shows (not sure if this line up ever played live shows). If I remember well -but could be wrong- Capozzi was let go due to "wrong look" matter and age vs D'Angelo, same for Robinson who probably didn't want to tour at all.
I have never seen any, it looks like the material is as elusive as the Coverdale-Sykes-Murray-Dunbar (& Airey) line up of Whitesnake, of which only recently some photos of Dunbar and Airey in studio with WS appeared in the recent 1987 box set.
I picked up the V&R version years ago for pennies in the (in)famous Yanks/Powercuts records sale, they used to have loads of copies of it dead cheap but in the sales prices dropped through the floor on some items. I thought this was an okay album at the time but it has certainly grown in stature in my opinion and gets played much more regularly these days than when I first bought it. Its the only Shooting Star album I have strangely, I did buy the first when it came out on import but sold it on as I wasn't that impressed, bit too wimpy for me back then. Another band since though I have come to appreciate more than I did having heard a little more.
#86 | englandashes | ? at January 12 2019 23:58:58
The Whitewing is now available on CD.
#87 | englandashes | ? at January 12 2019 22:14:43
I wonder where , overrated?, no way as it contains ‘Broken Heart’, my favourite White Lion track.
This is as good as it gets if you can listen with open ears. More on the Hard AOR side than the Pomp of their early releases. I was lucky enough to find a V&R copy, kind of a picture cd with that boot in shades of grey on the front. The physical cd is heavy, not like the lighter ones nowadays.
I would be tempted to say that this is my favourite album by JW, every track hits home with me. The track Euroshima (which I believe was going to be the original album title) has some real poignant lyrics, but that has always been John Waites forte. The extended version of that song is cool too, I can remember clutching a hastily recorded cassette so I could play it my mates while crushed in his dads Lada as we drove up to a rock night in Bury. I read in the classic rock AOR mag some guy saying he couldn't understand why JW was regarded as a top AOR singer as he never hits the high notes....really??? Following that logic guitarists who play the fastest are the best too harder,louder,faster,higher = better obviously, I must have missed the point of feeling and passion in music...I wasted my whole life when I could have been listening to Jim Gillette. The guy who wrote it should try singing Missing You, it's darn tricky. Anyway fandabbydozeeeeee album.
Looking back one year on this list, it's held up quite well. I do have one addition - the excellent Crazy Lixx 'Rough Justice' album that I did not discover until early 2018. That one kicks ass all the way to number 2 - I also gave it a 10 in my review. And I'd move the Pride Of Lions album above the cutoff line I put after number 6.