Touch - Tomorrow Never Comes

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited April 10 in Year-2021

Touch reunite with the original lineup intact, but it's been forty plus years since 1980, how difficult is it to create a repeat performance after all these years?

Touch - Tomorrow Never Comes
ARTIST: Touch
ALBUM: Tomorrow Never Comes
LABEL: Escape Music
SERIAL: ESM 351
YEAR: 2021

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Flag USA
LINEUP: Craig Brooks - guitars, vocals * Mark Mangold - keyboards, vocals * Doug Howard - bass, vocals * Glenn Kithcart - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Tomorrow Never Comes * 02 Let It Come * 03 Swansong * 04 Try To Let Go * 05 Fire And Ice * 06 Trippin' Over Shadows * 07 Frozen Ground * 08 Lil Bit Of Rock N Roll * 09 Glass * 10 Scream At The Sky * 11 Wanna Hear You Say * 12 Run For Your Life

RATING: Score of 80%
WEBLINKS: FB Page

Background

Touch are one of the most talasmanic bands from the glory days even if they only released one album at the time. Quite why this is remains a mystery all these years later, though many will disagree with my assessment. I don't think we need to regurgitate their history. Glory Daze trainspotters will already know their story.

So it becomes one of the great comeback stories in late 2020 as news of their return filtered through the newswires. Touch reunite with the original lineup intact, but it's been forty plus years since 1980, how difficult is it to create a repeat performance after all these years? Unlike the album title, tomorrow has definitely come.

In more recent times, it's been only Mark Mangold and Doug Howard who have been active musically with both American Tears and Stun Leer being the most notable. Brooks has written material and played drums on projects such as Malisha and White Vision back in the 80's and 90's while Kithcart's involvement has been minimal.

The Songs

There's good value for money as the album clocks in at 61 minutes covering twelve tracks. Mark Mangold's keyboards are vital in the overall makeup of the Touch sound, so too Craig Brooks input, hitting those high notes and providing the guitar polish.

'Tomorrow Never Comes' is the perfect entre, twinkly synths leading off, the song building nicely, the vocal tenor by Craig at the end is a highlight. 'Let It Come' definitely sounds like 'Don't You Know What Love Is', especially in the guitar department, thick guitar riffs, plus those welcome (or unwelcome as the case may be) gang chants.

'Swansong' is the longest track here (7.46), introduced by ethereal synths which is soon overtaken by Brooks' prominent guitar rhythms and vocal power. Mark assumes the drivers seat mid-song with a flurry of prog like passages. As to be expected, it's very epic. One of the highlights so far.

'Try To Let Go' is a heavier sounding track, with growling guitar parts, the keys really only kick in on the chorus, the rest of the time the space (other than the rhythm guitar) is sparse. Wasn't keen on the vocal chants unfortunately. 'Fire And Ice' I kinda liked, though the overall tone and mix was a bit loud and bright. Very unusual arrangement.

By comparison, 'Trippin' Over Shadows' was a different proposition altogether, restrained though still highly melodic with an array of buzzy synths and sweeps making its presence felt. The piano/bell like tones are an early feature on 'Frozen Ground', the track itself doesn't really get sailing until chorus time, but when it does it's like Touch of old.

The lads kick up the heels on 'Lil Bit Of Rock N Roll', a storming rocker with the trademark Touch vocal choruses. The guitar tone though wasn't great, one word: ghastly. Big ambient piano splashes introduces 'Glass', this sounds like an American Tears track, seemingly dominated by keyboards and incessant vocal chants. Please stop. Lol.

Getting into the back-end of the album now, 'Scream At The Sky' appears to be heading down a better path, a smoother sound, though certain elements don't gel that well. The overdriven lead vocal being one example. 'Wanna Hear You Say' saves one of best tracks till last, I think this is the sound that Touch fans wanted to hear from the outset, but it's the exception rather than the norm. 'Run For Your Life' tries to catch onto the coattails of the previous track, it's very anthem sounding without being an anthem, if that makes sense.

In Summary

No doubting the melodic rock community are enthused by the return of these New York legends. Yes it's been forty plus years in the making, Touch adding their name to the roster of yesteryear bands that have risen from an epoch in time long gone and continue on again as if 1980 was just a few hours ago.

The album is a potpourri of ideas, when it works it sounds great, but for everything else the overall assessment is fair to middling. Musically from my perspective, 'Tomorrow Never Comes' is a good album with some definite highlights such as 'Swansong' and 'Wanna Hear You Say'. However, it would seem that debut still remains an untouchable slab o' plastic, but personally I'm happy that Touch are no longer MIA.

Video

Tomorrow Never Comes


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Comments

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    dtabachndtabachn Buenos Aires, Argentina
    edited October 2020

    Pre-release video posted today October 19, 2020.

    American AOR band Touch reunited last year. Lineup includes original members Mark Mangold, Craig Brooks, Doug Howard and Glen Kithcart.

    New studio album expected in 2020.
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    Mark Mangold is a busy chap these days. Along with American Tears and now Touch, it's a pomp overload! Bring it on.
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    Coooool!
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    Pretty good song!
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    richardbrichardb Poole, Dorset
    All things considered, not bad at all after a 40 year hiatus. I doubt that it will reach the giddy heights of the debut (one of my desert island discs). That's possibly one of the greatest AOR/pomp albums ever. Nevertheless I'm cautiously optimistic. It's nice to have something to look forward to at the moment!
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    gdazegodgdazegod Lostralia
    edited February 14
    image
    Escape Music is pleased to announce a European release with legendary rock band TOUCH and their brand new reunion album 'Tomorrow Never Comes' featuring all of the original members.

    Now is available for pre-order, you can order your copy from:
    https://www.the-music-shop.net
    www.Escape-Music.com

    Touch – Tomorrow Never Comes
    Release Date: 26th March 2021
    Catalogue No: ESM351

    Touch is:
    Craig Brooks: Guitars / Vocals
    Mark Mangold: Keyboards / Vocals
    Glenn Kithcart: Drums / Vocals
    Doug Howard: Bass / Vocals

    Produced and engineered by Touch
    Mixed by Mark except 'Tomorrow Never Comes' by Simon Jovanovich
    and 'Fire and Ice' by Tommy Denander (additional mixing by Mark)
    Craig played additional keys on Scream At The Sky
    Mastered by Jacob Hansen
    Cover art by Stan Decker from concept by Touch

    Track lists:
    1 TOMORROW NEVER COMES 4:58
    2 LET IT COME 4:16
    3 SWAN SONG 7:44
    4 TRY TO LET GO 4:49
    5 FIRE AND ICE 4:37
    6 TRIPPIN' OVER SHADOWS 4:53
    7 FROZEN GROUND 6:07
    8 LIL BIT OF ROCK N ROLL 4:21
    9 GLASS 4:16
    10 SCREAM AT THE SKY 5:29
    11 WANNA HEAR YOU SAY 5:07
    12 RUN FOR YOUR LIFE 4:32


    TOUCH is an American band from New York City formed in 1978 with Mark Mangold (keyboards and vocals), Glenn Kithcart (drums), Craig Brooks (guitars and vocals) and Doug Howard (bass and vocals).

    All previously had been in the last version of the band American Tears (releasing three albums on Columbia Records).

    Touch's first album was released on Atco in the U.S. and Ariola in Europe and their first singles, 'Don't You Know What Love Is' and 'When The Spirit Moves You' charted on the Billboard Hot 100. 'Don't You Know What Love Is' was played heavily on AOR stations in the USA at the end of the 1970s and early '80's, and also did well in the Melody Maker chart in Great Britain.

    Touch was the first band to play at the inaugural Monsters of Rock Festival at Castle Donington in 1980. A live version of 'Don't You Know What Love Is' appeared on the compilation LP Monsters of Rock, documenting performances at the festival.

    Known for their memorable and diverse songs, stellar musicianship, lush vocal harmonies and dynamic stage performance, Touch is invariably on the list of TOP AOR Bands and their album is considered by many to be among the best AOR Melodic Rock albums of all time.

    The band have now reformed to create the new album 'Tomorrow Never Comes', which is being hailed as their best work to date.

    www.Escape-Music.com
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    Even though we knew this was on the way, this bit of news has cheered me up no end.
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    DEMONAORDEMONAOR Ås,Akershus, Norway
    TOUCH "Tomorrow Never Comes" 2020
    Pre-release video
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    gdazegodgdazegod Lostralia
    Good intro to the updated version of Touch. The proof will be in the pudding come end of March.
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    Like Nick, this has put a smile on my face...really looking to this.
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    richardbrichardb Poole, Dorset
    I must confess I'm really looking forward to this too. Their debut is one of my all time favourite AOR albums. A desert island disc for sure...
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    Like everyone else, very eager to listen to this as soon as possible! :)
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    JohnWatsonJohnWatson England
    edited April 7
    Just had my first play and it's a delight to hear a classic pomp AOR sound rather than a reimagined modern attempt. Exceeded my expectations and it will be one of the best albums of the year for me. Several songs remind you of Touch classics. However, it's not perfect - 4 songs have the dreaded 'whooa whooa' in them which is a shame and of course with a song like 'Fire And Ice' you have the old fire / higher / desire cliched rhyme. Quibbles aside I'm going to play it all again now excitedly (and most of the best songs are all near the end).
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    EmdaEmda Odenwald / Germany
    Have preordered the CD, can't wait to hear it
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    richardbrichardb Poole, Dorset
    That's reassuring to hear John. To say this is eagerly anticipated by me is an understatement...
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    ExplorerExplorer England
    It’s getting better with repeated plays for me. I agree with John as the best tracks are all towards the back of the album.
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    I've been living with it for a few weeks now and I think it's a super strong album. I'm enjoying it end to end and if it wasn't for my familiarity with the 1st album I would say it is pretty on par with it, less quirky but still Touch.
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    Contrary to my initial excitement earlier I'm afraid the tracks I thought would grow on me actually sound less attractive now! The opener title track and two rockers at the end are the only ones I'd want to hear at a live show. I still think the best Touch album is the sort of 2nd (ie Disc 2 of complete works).
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    edited April 2
    Hmm the one at the end, Run for Your Life a strong track - really? Personally I think that is the weakest on the album, it kinda sounds like a Nelson cast off to me - I don't dislike it as such but if there was a track I would program out it would be that one , it's by far my least favourite track it's not bad just a bit average. I honestly think the album is pretty ace all through and I can live with the slight faux pas at the end - songs like Glass, Trippin Over Shadows, A Little Bit of Rock and Roll just hit the target with me and have gotten better the more I listen. I don't get the best songs at the end theory I just think strong throughout.
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    gdazegodgdazegod Lostralia
    Merged comments from previous threads.
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    richardbrichardb Poole, Dorset
    A very fair and measured review George. Unfortunately it's not quite Touch 2.0, though being pragmatic did we really expect it to be?

    Pleasing to hear that Craig Brooks vocals seem to have held up well despite the intervening years. I'm a big fan - very underrated vocalist IMHO.

    The album's a little bit of a mish mash though I agree the final two cuts come closest to capturing the magic of the debut. If only the whole album was like this! Never mind maybe they can get the balance right for the next album?....
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