Heavens Edge - 1990 Heavens Edge

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ARTIST: Heavens Edge
ALBUM: Heavens Edge
LABEL: CBS
SERIAL: CK45262
YEAR: 1990
CD REISSUE: 2010, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY083
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Mark Evans - vocals * Reggie Wu - guitars, keyboards, backing vocals * Steven Parry - guitars, slide guitar, backing vocals * G.G Guidotti - bass, backing vocals * David Rath - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Intro * 02 Play Dirty * 03 Skin To Skin * 04 Find Another Way * 05 Up Against The Wall * 06 Hold On To Tonight * 07 Can't Catch Me * 08 Bad Reputation * 09 Daddy's Little Girl * 10 Is That All You Want? * 11 Come Play The Game * 12 Don't Stop Don't Go * 13 Superstition (demo) * 14 U Got It (demo) * 15 Just Another Fire (demo)

Background

Heavens Edge emerged out of the Philadelphia rock scene in the late 80's and eventually got lost amid the oodles of glam metal pretty boy bands of the day.

A demo of five songs that all ended up on this debut album caught the attention of local rock fans and the European magazine Metal Forces (interesting to see your review of this Kelv?).

The popularity of this demo and their energetic live shows had Columbia Records calling, and in 1990 Heavens Edge recorded and released their self-titled debut album.

With the legendary Neil Kernon at the helm, Heavens Edge sometimes manages to escape the glam metal mire by incorporating lush AOR-melodic rock arrangements into their metallic sound.

Other times it's a firm reminder of why band's of this ilk were about to get stomped like a narc at a biker rally by critics, fans and the looming grunge era.

Although rock bands were still selling records in 1990, many featured a 'MTV ready' lead singer who had the teen girls sittin on paper towels a la Sabastian Bach, Marc Slaughter or Jani Lane.

The other bands were made up of shameless clones or faceless bands with solid releases that fell under the radar. Heavens Edge I guess would be somewhere in the middle.

The Songs

The opener 'Play Dirty' is no different than the glam metal schlock of the day, complete with it's needless 'Intro' and cliche-soaked lyrics.

'Skin To Skin' was the first single and includes more cliche tongue-n-cheek lyrics akin to what Warrant and Slaughter were doing around this time.

'Find Another Way' is a different story, an infectious melodic rock workout with keys to boot! Great song and an album highlight here.

Sadly it's back to basics with 'Up Against The Wall' another one of those rock-em-sock-em ditties that plagued the genre around this time.

'Hold On To Tonight' gets us back on track with jaw dropping results, an AOR ballad similar in style to early Danger Danger. This is the album's best cut and makes one wonder what the band could of been capable of if not for its glam metal trappings.

'Can't Catch Me' is a fast and furious rocker that borders on metal. You have to admire their diversity but chuckle at the silly cocksure lyrics that surely must make Slaughter seem like Hamlet - 'Your chasing shadows through the city, don't you think it's about time you won the race?' Heady stuff huh?

Just when you're about to dismiss this as abysmal slop, Heavens Edge rebound like Jordan with 'Bad Reputation'- another infectious melody that flirts with AOR in it's chorus.

The rest is marginal at best with 'Come Play The Game' standing out as another AOR tinged rocker with a first class melody and hook. Along with Kernon's top notch production, this outfit's 'edge' over other similar bands was their ability to weave AOR-ish elements into their hair metal sound.

The four standout cuts here are above average and on par with that of Danger Danger. If they would've taken that same approach as them, 'Heavens Edge' could've been a winner.

In Summary

Heavens Edge received modest airplay on rock radio and MTV thanks to it's single 'Skin To Skin'.

The band shot half the footage for their next video-single 'Find Another Way', when the president of Columbia Records decided to pull the plug on the video. Was singer Mark Evans not pretty enough for the teen girlies? Who knows.

Heavens Edge eventually parted ways with Columbia and signed a development deal with Capitol, but with grunge looming it was only a matter of time before the group found themselves without label support.

It wasn't until 1998 that Mags Soderkvist released a series of rough demos and outtakes of the band on the 'Some Other Place - Some Other Time' CD for MTM Music in Europe and Pony Canyon in Japan.

A year later Perris Records released the album in the US. Upon the 20th anniversary of the original release of this album, Rock Candy Records have come to the party with a superb reissue, which also contains three bonus demo tracks 'Superstition', 'U Got It' and 'Just Another Fire'.


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