Well this is an unexpected and really welcomed reissue: "Hands Off My Toy!", the killer album by German Melodic Hard Rockers HIGH 'N DRY, fully remastered and with 3 previously unreleased tracks as bonus.
"Hands Off My Toy!" was, without a doubt, one of the best produced indie Melodic Hard Rock releases of the '80s. Launched through small label Bellaphon only in Germany in 1988, this great album was for years a much sought after collectors piece.
High' N Dry style is punchy, sometimes edgy, in a similar vein of the first Jaded Heart, Treat and Dalton - perhaps due to Joe Mitz's vocals akin Bo Lindmark of Dalton.
The kicking opener 'Run Away', the awesome groove of 'The Last Time', the classy 'Streets Of Fire' (where the band sounds a little like Europe), and the super ballad 'Too Much To Lose' in a Scandinavian mold are the first tracks on this great CD, and quality never decay.
The heavier 'Love Reaction' has some Treat in the riff, the melodic hard magic of 'In The Dark' is one of the highlights, the mid-tempo 'Lost Souls' brings to mind Da Vinci, while 'Standin' On The Frontline' rocks again this time with an AORish feel.
I think "Hands Off My Toy!" will be a 'new' album for most of you, but if you were lucky enough to have the first pressing of this little gem, be prepared for this remastered reissue juicy bonus tracks.
Apparently recorded at the same era and with a good pre-production sound 'The Light' is a nice earthy ballad, 'We All One' has a melodic rock midtempo feeling, while 'Welcome To The Show' is a cool uptempo rocker.
As said, "Hands Off My Toy!" was one of the best sounding indie Melodic Hard Rock releases from the '80s, skillfully produced by High 'N Dry guitarist Deiter Kowaiewski. It puts into shame many major label releases from the era, even now almost 30 years later with this superb remastering it sounds a hell of a lot better than some 'big name' new albums from the genre.
Kick ass songs, tight performances and terrific production is what you will find in "Hands Off My Toy!", a Highly Recommended baby for fans of Treat, Jaded Heart, Dalton, Europe, etc.
01 - Intro
02 - Run Away
03 - The Last Time
04 - Streets Of Fire
05 - Too Much To Lose
06 - Piece Of My Heart
07 - Love Reaction
08 - In The Dark
09 - Bad In Black
10 - Lost Souls
11 - Ain't Gonna Take It
12 - Standin' On The Frontline
13 - The Light
14 - We All One
15 - Welcome To The Show
Joe Mitz - vocals
Deiter Kowaiewski - guitar, keyboards
Gino Mcallef - bass, backing vocals
Mark Ulrich - drums, backing vocals
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Thursday, February 11, 2016
This one was pointed out by a reader in a comment: "Rise", the last album by Swansea (Wales) outfit KANE'D. Fronted by sisters Stephanie, Stacey and Chez Kane (yeah, 3 vocalists) whom provide passionate vocals and complex rocking harmonies, Kane'd it's as if modern day Skid Row, Halestorm and Robin Beck met on a dark night and, after the consummation, they produced a frizzy six-headed chimera.
The 3 girls create a very complete vocal palette indeed, whilst the demon in the machine is lead guitarist Harry Scott Elliott (he recently jammed with Tony Iommi on the Sky Arts TV show ‘Guitar Star’.) The line-up is completed by super-bassist Alex Rees and confident drummer George Elliot.
‘Hero’ is a great choice to start a the album. This song fizzes like a bath-bomb and brings treasure to your heart with its sing along chorus, while slamming guitar flutters as it curls.
‘La Di Da’ is the more commercial track on the CD.The bass beats make regular incursions deep into the fissures. The riff perforates all the edges. But it’s those mad La Di Da’s during the chorus performed by the 3 ladies that you will focus your attention upon. Well that is… Until, that lead guitar breaks free like a beast released from chains. Then the fireworks really begin!
‘Covered in Roses’ is unwavering. It’s all about harmonies and riffs, and they are never in short supply on this strong hearted ballad.
'Guilty Of Nothing' is another commercial tune yet with a hard hitting instrumentation, then the heavy 'Love Her Madly' has a classic melodic hard rock skeleton adorned with keyboards but the sonics are modern and fresh.
‘3-2-1’ demonstrates how dangerous those front-row girls can be. Because they are out to grab you. If you are not careful, they will come sprinting after you. This is fun rock 'n roll with exciting licks, pounding drums and a muscular, vulgar riff that suits the overall mood entirely.
The last track ‘Rise’ has evocative chords. It slices deeper than a dagger in the heart. Filled with emotional pain, this is, however, uncommonly enlivening and undeniably attractive.
"Rise" is vibrant, powerful and encouraging classic female fronted hard rock painted with a modern sound. I can see (and hear) why Robin Beck is the manager of Kane'd... on many places the songs here sound like Beck's last work. But more 'edgy' for sure.
This band proudly flaunts rare verve, and, clearly, they possess undeniable harmonic tension, delivering greatly arranged multi-part vocals, mature songwriting, killer guitar riffs and a strong, punchy production.
01 - Hero
02 - La Di Da [Explicit]
03 - Covered In Roses
04 - Guilty Of Nothing
05 - Wasted
06 - Love Her Madly [Explicit]
07 - Watch Me
08 - Frozen
09 - 3-2-1
10 - Rise
Stephanie, Stacey and Chez Kane: vocals
Harry Scott Elliott: guitars
Alex Rees: bass
George Elliott: drums
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"No Place For Heaven" is the third album from the British, Sheffield-based band C.O.P. UK also known as CRIMES OF PASSION. Some changes are afoot with new guitarist Andrew Mewse and bassist Scott Jordan joining the nucleus of vocalist Dale Radcliffe, guitarist Charles Staton and drummer Kev Tonge that recorded previous album
In addition, the sound has been augmented with the addition of a keyboard player, namely Jaded Heart, Circle II Circle and Tramp's White Lion man Henning Wanner, enabling the arrangements to carefully develop and shine anew.
With that said, the biggest change comes with the sound. Traditionally a Melodic Metal band built on a British Steel foundation like their home city, this new material has a strong European influence enhanced by Sascha Paeth's (Avantasia) excellent production.Anyone familiar with previous C.O.P. material will hear in the likes of 'The Core' and the relentless Metal of 'Halo' how their traditional Brit Metal sound has been imbued with this European character, to great effect.
I liked the band's previous material, but this "No Place For Heaven" is a completely welcomed beast: C.O.P. UK is Melodic Hard Rock, at places with their old edge, yes, but also with a great, fresh AOR approach.
Elsewhere, the band have subtly taken their foot off the gas just a little, slightly curbing the Metal-edge attack and easing back on Kev Tonge's predominantly double-bass drum approach. This slight adjustment has enabled the melodies to permeate through their sound and emerge fully to the fore like never before, yet not to the detriment of their dynamics and power.
The pacey, riff-driven Hard Rocker 'Catch Me If You Can', the dramatic 'Take It To The Grave', the punchy 'My Blood', 'Burn Hell', and the swirling-keyboard dominated 'One In A Million' manage to amalgamate huge sing-along choruses with stunning muscular rhythms, in a very similar style to how Eclipse and Pretty Maids blend melody and power.
The dazzling first single 'Kiss Of An Angel' is absolutely brimming with memorable, classy melodies throughout its six minutes of pure Melodic AOR brilliance.
The three, surprisingly tender, ballads signify just how confident C.O.P. are with their new approach, 'No Man's Land' gently building from a subtle beginning into a dynamic power ballad with a soaring chorus, the beautifully constructed 'Stranger Than Fiction' a true lighter-waving anthem, while the elegant midtempo title track 'No Place For Heaven' works especially well as a duet, performed with German female singer Cloudy Lang (Avantasia).
If you know C.O.P. UK for their previous albums, forget it. If you're new to them, be prepared for something very good: Melodic Hard Rock with muscle, power AOR and a touch of sweet Melodic Metal.
Varied songwriting, kicking instrumentation and a first class production turns "No Place For Heaven" a terrific album.
I would call it one of the 'Top debut albums of 2016', as this C.O.P. UK is a completely 'new' band.
01 - The Core
02 - My Blood
03 - Kiss Of An Angel
04 - Take It To The Grave
05 - No Place For Heaven
06 - Burn Hell
07 - Halo
08 - Catch Me If You Can
09 - No Man's Land
10 - One In A Million
11 - Stranger Than Fiction
Dale Radcliffe - vocals
Charles Staton - guitars
Andrew Mewse - guitars
Henning Wanner - keyboards
Scott Jordan - bass
Kevin Tonge - drums
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Formed a decade ago and having played hundreds of shows, Sweden’s BILLION DOLLAR BABIES are regarded as one of Sweden’s most explosive live acts. Their new album "Chemical God" was produced by Rikard Lofgren (Enforcer, Sister Sin), where Billion Dollar Babies show their versatility and try to sound different from the pack.
Taking the band's name after Alice Cooper's most famous album give you an idea of Billion Dollar Babies' style: US hard rock but with a modern approach. Yes, "Chemical God" has some Alice on it, W.A.S.P, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne and more, as well as melodic rock moments all over. At the same time, the band add electronics to the mix, I'd say 'heavy electronics', resulting in a very interesting output.
We have very dark lyrics which together the high energy performances gives this album a nice balance.
After the punchy opener 'I Want to See You Burn', the lead-off single and album title track 'Everyone's In Love With A Chemical God' opens the curtain on a sinister but oh-so-tempting stage set from a dark musical with massive guitar riffs and strong melodies. The band serves up a highly volatile cocktail that sounds like the unholy offspring of present Ozzy Osbourne solo works and John 5-like riffs starring in a dark musical written by Beelzebub himself and directed by Quentin Tarantino.
'Why Don’t You Put Up a Fight' is another one of the album’s best moments with its electro-laden Rock and Roll sound and slow build. It’s a bit more dynamic than a lot of the other songs and it’s got a big Pop hook that really grabs you.
Then midtempo 'One' and the moody 'When the Light Goes Out' reminds me '90s Danger Danger, with a groovy main melody plus a big bass line. 'The Nightmare Began' is the closer of a ballad here with the ghost of Alice Cooper all over yet in a modern sonic palette. Again, a Danger Danger / Paul Laine era feel appears.
'The Man I Am' is a stripped down rocker that has rawer, angrier guitars and a is a bit less produced overall. It gives it a 'mean streets of L.A.' kinda feel that separates it from the other tunes.
The sinister 'House of Dreams' has a vaudeville scary atmosphere where Alice Cooper & Lizzy Borden influences join to deliver a thrilling album's end.
Billion Dollar Babies is one of those bands trying to do something different, and their new album is some kind of a refreshing bath. You see "Chemical God" is a big ole slab of Hard Rock with nods to the seedy underbelly of the late Eighties and early Nineties scene, but with an original modern sound.
On many songs, the band blend powerful (extremely clean) guitar riffs with background electronics and then put a catchy chorus over it, resulting quite original as a whole.
The genre needs more bands like Billion Dollar Babies, strongly influenced by the classic hard rock era but with a really modern, inventive, refreshing sound and arrangements.
01 - I Want to See You Burn
02 - Everyone's in Love with a Chemical God
03 - The Junkies Ball
04 - One
05 - Why Don't You Put Up a Fight
06 - Election Day
07 - President Payne
08 - When the Light Goes Out
09 - The Nightmare Began
10 - The Man I Am
11 - House of Dreams
Frankie Rich - vocals
Pat Kramer - guitar & vocals
Max Lander - guitar & vocals
Danny Dread - drums & vocals
Ewil 13 - bass & vocals
Nic Lester - bass & vocals (2, 6 & 7)
Jon Silver - guitar & vocals (2, 6 & 7)
Anthony Fox - drums & vocals (2, 6 & 7)
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Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Tiny city Miramichi in Canada has produced countless legendary bands over the years such as… ok, well, actually I never even knew the existence of Miramichi before. But from there comes LIONSAULT formed by sister and brother duo Kortni and Chase Nichols; the former on lead vocals and bass, while the latter bashing the drums.
"Are You Feeling Lucky?" is the band's debut CD and it is, simply put, a kickin' & rockin' first release. A wall to wall, loud, groovy, fist pump inducing slice of good old fashion hard rock with a modern swagger to spare.
If you are a follower of this blog, you should know that for the most part we are not converted to the more modern sounds a lot of bands try to incorporate into their brand of rock and roll. It’s admittedly difficult for bands to modernize the classic hard rock sound and still sound fine at the same time. One group that seems to have mastered the art is Lionsault.
Hailing from the little Miramichi in New Brunswick, Canada with a population of less than 20,000 people (as per a 2011 census) hails these three youngsters that play a brand of rock and roll well beyond their years.
Actually, Kortni and Chase (joined by guitarist Taylor Sheasgreen) take me back to the good old days when youngsters in their early 20s or sometimes younger were cranking out what turned out to be some of the best genre defining hard rock and metal records of all-time.
The jury is definitely still out on whether Lionheart's debut album "Are You Feeling Lucky?" will ever be considered one of the all-time great debut albums but I’ll tell you this — it’s one damn fine debut record!
The CD grabs your attention right away with a scorching guitar riff on 'Shoot Em Up' before Kortni Nichols‘ young but beautiful sounding female voice kicks in and the song takes you on a magical journey. Chase Nichols‘ drumming is absolutely monstrous.
My initial thought as soon as I heard the opening guitar riff on 'Shoot Em Up' was 'alright Lionsault, you have got my attention for your entire album because this opening riff is so damn captivating that I know you’re going to have more great stuff on your record for sure.'
The next track 'Living With The Devil' reminds me Halestorm before that band lost its way with their too much washed present sound. Frankly, this song feels like what Halestorm should sound like now and I am more than pleased to have Lionsault take over the torch from Lzzy Hale and company while they continue to “experiment” with and turn their music mainstream.
Lionsault knows how to milk a formula of great guitar riffs, in your face vocals, and masterful song arrangements with lots of musical breaks and build ups to choruses that really get you excited.
'Light It Up' is a prime example of how to give the listener a few goosebumps. Its huge chorus and screaming vocals in the verses are a highlight.
Like many hard rock records, Lionsault falls victim to the ‘sameness’ problem. This is where every single song is mixed and built up in almost the same manner. This is not necessarily a bad thing if it is what you are looking for, but some variety either in the songwriting or sonic palette would have been appreciated.
I can say, though, that even if they are a bit of a one trick pony, it is a very well executed trick.
Lionsault’s first album is an excellent debut by a band that has already earned its place on a short list of contenders for the modern-day, female fronted hard rock crown.
On their self-released (very well produced) first effort "Are You Feeling Lucky?" Lionsault seem to have found the perfect blend of new versus old mixing old school riffs, a huge rhythm section and a fresh young voice with fantastic results.
Released at the end of past year but just reissued as the first CD batch was sold out, if you were going to check out a modern hard rock band with a classic foundation, Lionsault should be your pick.
The group describes itself as “A hard-hitting, in-your-face hard rock band with a touch of classic rock influence, complimented with a modern metal twist, and intense melodic female vocals leading the way.” I could not agree more.
The potential for Lionsault seems astronomical based on "Are You Feeling Lucky?" which is an album that has the ability to transcend and appeal to fans of many rock genres.
01 - Shoot Em' Up
02 - Living With The Devil
03 - Reckless
04 - High Stakes
05 - Light It Up
06 - Counting Down
07 - Sick As It Gets
08 - Running Wild
09 - Vixen
10 - L.M.B
Kortni Nichols – vocals, bass
Chase Nichols – drums
Taylor Sheasgreen – guitars, backing vocals
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Sunday, February 7, 2016
Some time ago YesterRock remastered the two celebrated albums by Canadian Melodic Rockers THE ARROWS, also officially appeared on CD for the first time. "Stand Back" was the first full length album by The Arrows released in 1984, that featured three hit Canadian singles.
Having the chance to review albums like it's what truly makes my life worthwhile. Seriously, this band should have been huge with their brand of sweet AOR - to give you an idea, think early Honeymoon Suite / Mr. Mister.
Originally coming out in 1984 "Stand Back" made gentle waves among the North American rock scene, with producer David Tyson nominated for a Juno Award for his production work on this album (You might recognise the Tyson name for being the co-writer of the Alannah Myles number one hit 'Black Velvet').
That in itself should guarantee you take the time out and to have a listen to this album.
This album is a lifeline to a time when rock and fluffy suits ruled the world together. And when an opener is as good as 'Meet Me In The Middle', man, I must admit, a tear came to my eye... they do not make music like this anymore. This song was their main hit back in 1984... Dean McTaggart's voice is sweet nectar to these ears.
Next up is 'Say It Isn't True' which also goes to show how the music in the '80s ruled. Seriously, the hairs are currently standing up in salute to the awesomeness of this album.
I don't care how cool you think you are, nothing gets past the neck hair challenge - if it doesn't move you enough to get those follicles up then forget about it!
Each song on "Stand Back" is like your very own time capsule, only better as, with songs like 'Fallen Angel', 'Enough Is Never Enough' and 'I Owe You', Dean and chums prove how much they had and had to give.
Alas it wasn't to be; after another album, 1985's 'Lines Are Open', the band split in 1986 leaving the world a duller place for their absence. Both of The Arrows albums are worthy of a place in everyone's AOR collection.
The Arrows had it all; musicianship, class and superb songs. If you never heard about them better get this little gem right now.
This re-release and remastering by YesterRock (now out of print) of this AOR cult classic is nothing short of divine.
You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox
01 - Meet Me In The Middle
02 - Say It Isn't True
03 - Fallen Angel
04 - Never Be Another One
05 - Girl In 313
06 - Stand Back
07 - Enough Is Never Enough
08 - I Owe You
09 - Easy Street
Dean McTaggart - vocals, background vocals
Doug Macaskill - guitars
Rob Gusevs - keyboards
Peter Bleakney, Howard Aye - bass
Michael Sloski, Gary Craig - drums
Matt Zimbel - percussion
Earl Seymour - horns
Eddie Schwartz, Al Van Wart - background vocals
David Tyson - keyboards, background vocals
*Out Of Print*
Some time ago YesterRock remastered the two celebrated albums by Canadian Melodic Rockers THE ARROWS. "The Lines Are Open" was the second and final album by The Arrows, with producer David Tyson again nominated for the Juno Award Producer of the Year for his work here.
For an album originally released in 1985, The Arrows "The Lines Are Open" has held up awesomely well. Even with an almost unhealthy amount of saxy parp within its AOR grooves.
Opening with 'Heart Of The City' I’m greeted with a glorious West Coast sound that immediately fills the airwaves. Now, having listened to this album many times over I am left with nothing but a smile as soon as I hear the intro of this song.
One thing I noticed and you can tell by the sound, that someone who knows their way around a sound desk mixed this album, and lo and behold it’s mixed by none other than famous Bob Rock. The sound really is amazing, and he along with producer David Tyson truly brought out the best of the Toronto rockers.
The music of The Arrows was basically radio-ready melodic rock but with keyboard angle which is straight out of the ‘80s and perhaps more along the lines of fellow Canadians Honeymoon Suite.
On other tracks like 'Talk Talk' or 'Tell It To My Heart' the style recalls mid ‘80s Rick Springfield, with a power pop good-vibe feel.
This music sounds just as fresh and amazing as it sounded back then, and it is criminal that the band never found the success they clearly deserved. The sheer melodic bliss of Dean McTaggart vocals mixed with these fantastic songs should have make The Arrows superstars, with every teenager break out the old hairbrush and air keyboards.
It is a real shame that after this album the band soon called it quits citing pressure from their management and record company for a breakthrough hit.
The Arrows recorded an absolute blinder of an album in "The Lines Are Open", on par in quality with their exquisite debut.
This YesterRock remaster (first time on CD) is pristine, rescuing these The Arrows' long lost little gems for all AOR aficionados rejoice.
01 - Heart Of The City
02 - Talk Talk
03 - Bad Reputation
04 - Tell It To My Heart
05 - Wild One
06 - I Told You So
07 - Chains
08 - I Can't Let Go
09 - Hampton Avenue
Dean McTaggart - vocals, background vocals
Doug Macaskill - guitars
Rob Gusevs - keyboards
Earl Seymour - saxophones, synthesizer
Bobby Economou - drums
Glenn Olive - bass
Rick Waychenko, Steve McDade, Vernon Dorge - horns
Memo Acevedo - percussion
Gerald O'Brien - emulator programming
Sharon Lee Williams - background vocals
Charity Brown - background vocals
John Rutledge - background vocals
David Blamires - background vocals
David Tyson - background vocals, arrangements
Bob Rock - mixing engineer at Little Mountain Sound, Vancouver
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Originally released in 2004,"Noises From The Cathouse" was the second post-reformation album by Whitley Bay’s finest TYGERS OF PAN TANG. While the band is finishing their brand new record, "Noises From The Cathouse" it's being re-released 2016, remastered and with some really good bonus tracks.
After more than 10 years after the band dissolution in the second half of the Eighties, original members Jess Cox and Robb Weir ensambled a Tygers Of Pan Tang momentary line-up for a one-off show at Wacken in 1999 – immortalised later on the cunningly-titled album ‘Live At Wacken’.
With Cox out of the picture for a second time Weir put together a new Tygers for a new century, with Dean Robertson joining him on guitars, Brian West on bass, Craig Ellis on drums and Tony Liddell replacing Cox behind the mike stand.
The result of a trip to the studios was 2001’s ‘Mystical’, and two years and one vocalist later ‘Noises From The Cathouse’ appeared on Communiqué Records, with the solid Richie Wicks now fronting the band.
Clocking in at 62 minutes for just ten songs, the album featured some of the most intriguing and exciting music the band had recorded, taking its cue more from the heavy progressive songs like ‘Slave To Freedom’ and ‘Insanity’ from debut album ‘Wild Cat’ than the later, more chart-friendly, four-minute material like ‘Rendez-Vous’ or ‘Paris By Air’, the successful singles from 'The Cage' (1982).
It also re-united the Tygers (albeit in a vastly different form) with mastermind Chris Tsangarides, the man who’d produced both ‘Wild Cat’ and its follow-up ‘Spellbound’.
But despite this pedigree, "Noises From The Cathouse" didn’t resound that widely and the album soon vanished into obscurity (in grand part due its poor label promotion), taking with it the hopes of the band themselves who wouldn’t be heard from for another five years.
Fast-forward thirteen years and "Noises From The Cathouse" has now been given a new lease of life in 2016 via Angel Air Records. The revamped album features new artwork, a shuffled running order that redefines the dynamism of the original ten songs, and three bonus tracks which take the running time up to a hefty 75 minutes.
The material certainly hasn’t lost its bite over the intervening years, and songs like the huge, sprawling ‘Master Of Illusion’ is just one example of the band’s ability to create a grandiose hard rock / metal epic, while the haunting but power chord laden ‘Cybernation’ is as dystopian as its title suggests.
The previously unreleased bonus tracks were recorded in 2004 during the same recording sessions, including the album cut 'Highspeed Highway Superman' in a 'Two Wheeled Version' much more funny and ready for the road, alongside fresh versions of the Tygers debut album classics ‘Slave To Freedom’ and ‘Don’t Touch Me There’, perhaps their most famous song.
Both re-recorded classics are tweaked according modern times but still sounding assassin.
My favorite Tygers Of Pan Tang era is their last '80s when they turned melodic hard rock, but always had a soft spot for all this band stupendous material.
"Noises From The Cathouse" is a kick ass record, quite heavy and traditional hard rock with some progressive passages. This is straight ahead guitar driven British stuff with a crystal singer and very good compositions.
Production is pristine, and this remaster has provided much more punch and stronger bass lines.
One of the most underrated and criminally ignored albums from the past decade, now revamped with an excellent edition to enjoy.
01 - Bad Bad Kitty
02 - Highspeed Highway Superman
03 - Cybernation
04 - Boomerang
05 - Running Man
06 - The Spirit Never Dies
07 - Three In A Bed
08 - Deja Vu
09 - Godspeak
10 - Master Of Illusion
11 - Highspeed Highway Superman [Two Wheeled Version]
12 - Slave To Freedom
13 - Don't Touch Me There (New Version)
Richie Wicks - Vocals
Robb Weir - Guitar
Dean Robertson - Guitar
Brian West - Bass
Craig Ellis - Drums
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Saturday, February 6, 2016
This one was repeatedly requested here: "Run For Your Life", the last album from THE PRODUCERS (recorded in the '80s), released for the first time ever on CD by YesterRock, fully digitally remastered.
Not to be confused with the recent British project, this THE PRODUCERS were formed in Atlanta, Georgia, at the very end of the seventies, and used to play high energy power pop, and on this particular "Run For Your Life" - their third and last album - mixed with a high dose of stylized light AOR which turn it a much sought after piece by collectors.
At the beginnings of the '80s, The Producers began to compose own songs and performed them in numerous clubs in the metropolitan area of Atlanta. The original line-up included Van Temple on guitars and vocals, former Whiteface member Kyle Henderson on bass and vocals, former Billy Joe Royal sidekick Wayne Famous (real name: Wayne McNatt) on keyboards and Bryan Holmes on drums.
Their appearances have been in great demand and were steadily gaining popularity by the audience. With this success, they signed a record deal at Portrait Records / CBS (same Wilson sisters Heart's label) under the direction of producer Tom Werman, who has also worked with Cheap Trick and REO Speedwagon.
In 1981 the first album of the 'Producers' was released. The single 'What She Does To Me' went to number 61 of the Billboard Charts. The second album 'You Make The Heat' was published 1982. The single 'She Sheila' made it again to the charts, with the videos were all over the channel in the first year of MTV.
Many live concerts followed, among others The Producers were support act for Cheap Trick and The Motels. But despite the success, Portrait Records resigned the contract after 2 albums only.
The Producers next work "Run For Your Life" was released through a small independent record label in Atlanta and was published in vinyl only.
At that point The Producers were working together with the band Kansas, so it might not come as a surprise that the song "Can't Cry Anymore" featured here (track 5) can be found on the album as well as on "Power", the 1986, more AOR album from Kansas.
The Producers' sound & style on "Run For Your Life" is not so pumping as the more rocking AOR bands of the era, but it was 1985, so expect catchy choruses, commercial melodies, lots of keyboards and a clean, polished production.
For the first time ever this 'lost treasure' is now published on CD. Many AOR fans from all over the world have been frequently asking for this album, and now their burning desire was heard and finally comes to fulfillment.
01 - Run For Your Life
02 - Slow Dancing
03 - Depending On You
04 - Tightrope
05 - Can't Cry Anymore
06 - Boat Song
07 - Table For One
08 - Friendly Fire
09 - Big Mistake
10 - Waiting On A Train
Van Temple - Vocals, Guitar
Wayne Famous - Keyboards, Vocals
Tim Smith - Bass
Bryan Holmes - Drums, Vocals
Luis Stefanel - Percussion
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"Electric Overdrive" is the debut by HEAVY STAR, a new Italian hard rock outfit led by guitar wiz Marco K-Ace, who made his first impact at the debut album from Chris Catena, titled Freak Out.
Backed by his fellow countrymen Albert Fish (vocals), Danny Slade (guitars), Roberto Biaggione (bass) and Mauro Money (drums) the five piece seems to have a weakness for the '80s US melodic hard rock / hair metal, and they are darn good at it.
I can see (or hear) why Chris Catena hired K-Ace as axeman: the guy delivers a bunch of really hot riffs & solos here, melodic, valvular and indeed 'Electric Overdriven'. He has collaborated as well with the likes of Glenn Hughes, John Lawton, Dave Meniketti, Bruce Kulick, Tommy Aldridge, and more, so this is a seriously gifted guitarist.
I am truly impressed by the massive sound of Heavy Star, which makes you go back to the heyday when bands like Ratt, Skid Row, Tesla, Lynch Mob or Black N' Blue were at the top of music charts worldwide.
Along K-Ace and his awesome six-string work, Albert Fish is a true revelation at the mic. His vocals are somehow reminiscent of Sebastian Bach in the very first Skid Row, while the rhythm section is solid as a rock.
The kicking 'Love And Affection', the groovy 'Blessed', the dirty title track and the sleazy 'Higher Than The Sun' are all strong hard rockers in the best '80s American tradition.
'Desperation Alley' is more hair metal, catchy, 'Wicked Seed (Fallen)' has some Lynch Mob groove on it, while 'Serena' is the obligatory power ballad in a Tesla vein.
Strongly performed and with a very good production, Heavy Star rocks like in the good 'ol L.A. times with powerful and melodic songs in "Electric Overdrive". It's being released by Perris Records, so you know quality is guaranteed.
A really welcomed combo to the present Melodic Hard Rock renaissance.
01 - Love And Affection
02 - Blessed
03 - Electric Overdrive
04 - Higher Than The Sun
05 - Desperation Alley
06 - Wicked Seed (Fallen)
07 - Serena
Albert Fish (vocals)
Marco K-ACE (guitar, backing vocals)
Danny Slade (guitar)
Roberto Biaggioni (bass, backing vocals)
Mauro Money (drums)
BUY IT !