Wild Rose and Push UK vocalist <b>DAVID A SAYLOR </b>has been delighting us with a bunch of lovely pure AOR albums in the last four of five years, now returns with a another smooth record entitled "<b>Built 2 Fight</b>" again with notable contributors as guests such as guitarists David Mark Pearce, Brett Hammond and Nik Lloyd providing great guitar solos to enhance these wonderful, sweet AOR tunes.
Do you remember the days when an artist or band released a new album within a timeframe of some 12 to 18 months after their latest offering? Nowadays it's a different story. Some even wait 5 to 10 years before treating their fans to new music but fortunately there are exceptions like mister David A. Saylor.
It's true that David has a gap of some 2 decades between his first solo record "One On One" (that featured a mix of songs sung in Spanish and English) and 2012's "City Of Angels" but he has come up with a new platter in each of the following years.
With putting out albums in such quick succesion also comes the danger that the quality of the songs suffers but that is definitely not the case here.
Sure things sound familiar (think Pride Of Lions, Strangeways, FM, Drive She Said, Michael Thompson Band) on more than one occasion but that makes each of the tracks so instantly likable to every classic AOR fan.
Main ingredients remain David's warm, slightly raspy and emotional vocals and whole range of superb harmonies and melodies. Add to that the musical talent of those involved and you have once more a release that will please you from the first bars.
Saylor play almost all instruments with the exception of guitar solos - you need skilled axe-mans for this and all three involved are great - some special keyboards, and guest backing vocals to enhance the rich harmonies.
All tracks, as said, are pure AOR goodies, just to mention few; the glorious and highly intoxicating "Alibi" on which David is joined by fellow melodic rock/west coast artist Indigo Balboa, and the slow burning "The Time Is Now", two tracks which paint you the perfect musical picture of what to expect on "Built 2 Fight".
AOR fans, rejoice.
01 - Built To Fight
02 - The Time Is Now
03 - Way Down The Line
04 - The Girl From Tokyo
05 - No Fear
06 - This Is It
07 - Alibi
08 - La Chica De Tokyo
09 - Follow Me
David A. Saylor: lead vocals, All Instruments
David Mark Pearce: guitar solos (3,6,7)
Brett Hammond: guitar solos (4,8)
Nik Lloyd: guitar solos (1,2,5)
Paul Pryor: bass
Rob Hewns: drums
Jon Dewsbury: additional keyboards
Indigo Balboa: additional vocals (7)
Romany May, Erika Jones, Azahar Lopez: backing vocals
As the title suggests, "F4UR" this is indeed album number 4 from RADIOACTIVE, the brainchild of super talented Swedish guitarist/songwriter Tommy Denander and on each album to date he has had a series of top Melodic Rock and AOR vocalists, and on this album he has the best yet!
"F4UR" is the first Radioactive album in nearly 10 years and has been recorded at different stages of the past decade.
Sadly two of the vocalists on here are no longer with us. Survivor vocalist Jimi Jamison is on top form (although to be fair he never gave anything less than 100% when singing?) on opener "Summer Rains", a perfect melodic tune with a Survivor-like musical backing. Love the acapella start that leads nicely into the keyboards.
Former Toto / Le Roux vocalist Fergie Frederiksen is on the catchy "Back To The Game", and unsurprisingly sounds like it came of the Frederiksen / Denander album of a few years ago. Another top tune.
Great to hear Jeff Paris again and he gets two songs, "Start All Over" is one of the best songs on the album, a classy Melodic Rock song and a familiar lyric of lost love and starting again.
Jean Beauvoir (Crown Of Thorns) is on the album’s curveball, "You’ll Find The Fire" that mixes his distinctive vocals to a electro/synth beat. Sounds strange but it works, adding variation.
The always solid James Christian sings up a storm on "Give Me Your Love", the heaviest song on here, whilst his other half, Robin Beck, not to be outdone shines on "When Silence Gets To Loud". Get this tune on radio and you’d have a hit, one of those pop/melodic rock crossovers that builds from a gentle start to a big, memorable chorus.
Long time musical collaborator Bobby Kimball (ex-Toto) appears on "Heart Come Alive", which sounds like a Toto song in style (Denander is a big fan) and the keyboard arrangements in particular.
The real surprise vocalist on here is former Kansas Steve Walsh. He sings on "The Piper" and is another album highlight. Shades of Mike Slamer in the guitar and reminded me of Steelhouse Lane.
Often these musical projects can sound disjointed or there are only a few decent singers involved, not in this case with Radioactive, as each vocalist is superb and still have their vocal power in spades.
Tommy Denander of course adds in some classy guitar solos when required, the guitarist is quite happy to share the limelight with the singer on here.
Not a duff song in sight, F4UR is a real treat for Melodic Rock / AOR fans.
Rubicon Japan ~ DAKRBNCD-1186
01. Summer Rains (vocals – Jami Jamison)
02. Back To The Game (vocals – Fergie Frederiksen)
03. Beautiful Lies (vocals – Jeff Paris)
04. The Piper (vocals – Steve Walsh)
05. Alibis (vocals – David Roberts)
06. When The Silence Gets Too Loud (vocals – Robin Beck)
07. You’ll Find The Fire (vocals – Jean Beauvoir)
08. Heart Come Alive (vocals – Bobby Kimball)
09. Start All Over (vocals – Jeff Paris)
10. If Only My Memory Could Lie (vocals – Dan Reed)
11. Just A Man (vocals – Fergie Frederiksen)
12. Give Me Your Loving (vocals – James Christian)
13. Memoriam (Instrumental in memory of Bruno Denander, Fergie Frederiksen, Jimi Jamison, Gary Moore & Chris Greer)
14. Natural Born Dreamer (vocals – Jeff Paris) [Japanese bonus track]
Tommy Denander – guitars, bass & keyboards
Lars Chris – drums
Ken Sandin – bass on 6
Jimi Jamison, Jeff Paris, Robin Beck, Jean Beauvoir, James Christian, Chris Ousey, Kevin Chalfant, Simon Peyron, Tommy Denander, David Palau – backing vocals
Jim Peterik, Grammy Award-winning songwriter and the man behind Survivor success, without a doubt has an ear for great vocalists. He 'discovered' Marc Scherer, a master jeweler by profession, when he was recording vocals for his group in Peterik's studio three years ago.
Since then, Peterik has wanted to craft songs and an album to showcase Scherer's superb vocals, and the result is "Risk Everything", a CD released by Frontiers Records under the names of both artists PETERIK / SCHERER.
And indeed, Scherer owns a powerful and melodic voice, a full five octave range. He can belt it out or bring it down to a whisper. And his voice is in the proper context.
Of course, Peterik has crafted classy AOR / Melodic Rock songs: lots of melody, harmony and groove with catchy refrains and vibrant guitar solos. Considering his nearly inexhaustible experience, sounds from Survivor to Toto to Journey, among others, come to mind.
Properly, not only do his commanding presence, the production keeps Scherer in front of the music; it's there to support and carry him along. And it sounds pretty fandamntastic too.
From the first crystal clean guitar tones in opener title track “Risk Everything” to the autobiographical undertones of brilliant storytelling and ultra-melodic grandeur of “Independence Day”, this album is everything fans of the genre could have asked for.
The music fittingly illustrates the stories told in Marc Scherer’s clean-cut voice, all embroidered with flawless vocal harmonies. But what perhaps what strikes here the most is the fact Jim Peterik still hasn’t run out of ideas for composing tunes that are catchy but tasteful, and simply captivating.
Plenty of tracks on the album are kept at a mid-tempo groove, ‘80s infused keyboard sound upfront and juxtaposed with rich lead guitar work like in “Chance Of A Lifetime”, “The Dying Of The Light”, “Cold Blooded” or the rocking “Brand New Heart”.
You have a few songs that blur the line between anthem and ballad as on “Desperate In Love”, its first part ballad-esque only to morph smoothly into an AOR Melodic mid-tempo further on. Also “The Crescendo” has this feeling, bringing to mind '80s Styx.
There’s also a true ballad, the charming, heart-tugging “How Long Is A Moment” with all that classic melodies we love.
Then, albeit somewhat tempered by tinkly keyboards, the distinct, thumping rhythm of “Milestones” reminds you classic Survivor with a 'fresh' vocalist.
One brilliant song after another, there’s hardly a highlight to be picked among the eleven songs on Risk Everything – each of them equally great.
"Risk Everything" is yet another jewel in Jim Peterik’s crown – an musician and songwriter that doesn’t need more recognition or acclaim, but the one who still can surprise a listener with quite a few melodic aces up his sleeve. And simultaneously, an album that put the relatively little known Marc Scherer in the same league as the mentioned singers Peterik’s previously collaborated with – Toby Hitchcock, Dave Bickler and the late, great Jimi Jamison.
Apart from perfectly crafted melodies, it’s Scherer’s range and clear vocal tone the biggest assets to the eleven songs on the record. Peterik is there to add harmony vocals and his share of strong guitar work / sparkling keyboard lines.
Yes, the combo PETERIK / SCHERER works like a charm, and let’s only hope – on behalf of all Melodic Rock aficionados out there – that "Risk Everything" it’s only the first of many albums released under their collaborative moniker.
01. Risk Everything
02. Chance Of A Lifetime
03. Cold Blooded
04. Desperate In Love
05. Thee Crescendo
06. The Dying of The Light
07. How Long Is A Moment
08. Brand New Heart
09. Broken Home
11. Your Independence Day
Marc Scherer – lead vocals
Jim Peterik – guitars, keyboards, vocals
Ed Breckenfeld (Pride of Lions, Jimi Jamison) – drums
Nick Rich – drums
Klem Hayes (Pride of Lions) – bass
Bob Lizik (Dennis DeYoung, Pride of Lions) – bass
Bill Syniar (Survivor, Kelly Keagy) – bass
Mike Aquino (Mecca, Pride of Lions) – add. guitars
Perhaps the most important British Melodic Rock / AOR act of all time, FM may have spent last autumn on a 30th anniversary tour, but they are neither a nostalgia band nor one to let the grass grow under their feet. Two years after a pair of new albums in Rockville I and II, and ahead of yet another tour, they are back with another record of new material entitled "Heroes And Villains".
Simply put, "Heroes And Villains" is probably the most overtly commercial of the albums they have recorded since reforming, possibly even since the outstanding 1989’s ‘Tough It Out’.
Opener "Digging Up The Dirt" has a shuffling groove to it driven by a great big guitar riff underpinning the track courtesy of Jim Kirkpatrick whose guitar work on everything from Metropolis to date has been phenomenal.
Steve Overland’s vocals need no comment other than to say that the smoothest set of pipes in melodic rock sound as strong as ever allowing the listener to settle into the mood of the album within the first 30 seconds.
All the trademark FM styles are there. Merv Goldsworthy and Pete Jupp make everything sound big, while Jem Davis’ keyboard sound is fresh and modern.
The ultra-catchy follower "You’re The Best Thing About Me" can be compared with Def Leppard-Hysteria era, although Steve Overland’s ever superb lead vocals are vastly superior. Later, the lush ballad "Incredible" is another showcase for the warmth and emotion the frontman brings to his singing.
"Life Is A Highway" sneaks a little bit of American Girls from FM's brilliant debut into the mix just to keep the long term fans happy. "Fire And Rain" brings in a classic melodic rock groove with some 'whoah oahs' thrown in for good measure at the beginning of the track.
Commerciality should not be equated with fluffy keyboards though as the guitar of Jim Kirkpatrick is pushed well forward in the mix and his concise solos suit the music perfectly.
Much of the album has the feel, if not the budget, of a Mutt Lange-produced album and indeed "Shape I’m In" could be a missing outtake from Bryan Adams’ ‘Waking Up The Neighbours’.
"Cold Hearted" is virtually the only representative of the more melodic bluesy sound of early Nineties FM, adding a touch of grit to the highly polished fare elsewhere like the bright and breezy "Call On Me".
"Big Brother" offers something different both lyrically and with its slower pace and haunting keyboards at the beginning and end, and "Sometimes I Only Wanna Rock n Roll" has the raunchy Seventies feel of Brishish scene.
Now of course, no FM album is complete without the ballads. There are tracks littered throughout FM’s history that other bigger AOR acts would have loved to have written and the aforementioned "Incredible" ticks all of the boxes that denotes a future fan favourite as well.
They save the best for last though and the album plays out with "Walking With Angels", opening with soft acoustic guitar playing, beautiful harmonising from the band and Steve doing, well, simply what Steve does best. This song deserves to be huge and may be one of the best tracks the band have ever written.
Well it's 2015 and here we are gearing up for a new FM album, and sometimes you just gotta love the music world, because during their initial period of rocking all over the world and after the wilderness years of 1996 - 2007, it is amazing that the band continue to release great music.
"Heroes And Villains" cements their reputation as the UK’s foremost exponents of Melodic Rock, and delivers, as usual, very polished & slick quality stuff.
01. Digging Up The Dirt
02. You’re The Best Thing About Me
03. Life Is A Highway
04. Fire And Rain
06. Call On Me
07. Cold Hearted
08. Shape I’m In
09. Big Brother
10. Somedays I Only Wanna Rock And Roll
11. I Want You
12. Walking With Angels
Steve Overland – Vocals, Guitar
Jim Kirkpatrick – Guitars
Jem Davis – Keyboards
Merv Goldsworthy – Bass
Pete Jupp – Drums
The KISKE / SOMERVILLE project bringing together the talents of former Helloween singer Michael Kiske (now with Unisonic) and Trillium singer Amanda Somerville started in 2010 with a celebrated debut.
The question was if there would be a follow-up album, and after 5 years the answer is “City Of Heroes”, the new exciting Kiske / Somerville record.
Five years is a long time and much can change during this period of time. Especially within various musical genres, those genres popular five years ago may not be popular today. Luckily not much has changed in the Kiske/Somerville camp and lived true to the saying: 'never change a winning team'.
On “City Of Heroes” Mat Sinner whom produced the first record remained in his seat and also play bass.
All of you will be pleased to know that the tremendous, multi-facetic Magnus Karlsson is back as well – and I can tell you one thing; he delivers once more!
Everybody who missed Magnus on the latest Allen/Lande record will love his performance on the new Kiske/Somerville. His songwriting skills will be easily recognizable as well as his always excellent guitar work.
Sinner / Karlsson wrote most of the tracks blending classic Melodic Metal structures with some Hard Rock hooks here and there, all crowned by power AOR choruses. Which, this time around makes the songs catchier and more energetic.
I think it has been done to focus on the two vocalists talents and their harmonies. Amanda has an outstanding and warm voice and she is always present on this album. I don’t need to say that much about Michael Kiske, because everybody knows what his vocal cords are capable of.
It all starts with the fantastic title track “City Of Heroes”‘, powerful and guitar heavy but with big choruses and excellent use of backing and harmony vocals. This track combines all the strengths of the band in this ambitious project. It’s melodic and it rocks.
Another highlight follows with “Walk On Water”, an earworm you can’t get out of your head. With “Rising Up” it becomes a bit groovy, with a very '80s influenced Hard Rock. “Salvation” shows a more atmospheric side and is another winner.
“Lights Out” is one hell of a track where you definitely can clearly hear the distinct influences of Magnus Karlsson. This track could have easily been on the first Allen/Lande album. Fantastic.
Another absolutely killer track (and my personal favorite of this album) is “Open Your Eyes”. This tune has the word 'Hit' written all over it. The amazing guitar lines of Karlsson and the infectious chorus make this track to one of the best songs I’ve heard so far this year.
It’s hard to beat the previous, but “Run With A Dream” comes very close to doing just that. A rocker that is catchy as hell and makes you sing along for days.
My first reaction on listening to “City Of Heroes” was 'wow, this is excellent'. It’s a huge step up from the first album (which was already a very good one). The songs are stronger, the hooks massive and the vocals top notch.
Production wise, the album was perfectly arranged. This is because Mat Sinner was involved with the production as well as the famous Jacob Hansen (Pretty Maids, Primal Fear) whom took care with the mix. Keyboards are more present this time (and I love it) which perfectly compliments the loud guitars and the tight rhythm section. With its crisp production, “City Of Heroes” sounds awesome.
Contender for the 'the best of the year prize' for sure.
01. City of Heroes
02. Walk on Water
03. Rising Up
05. Lights Out
06. Breaking Neptune
07. Ocean of Tears
08. Open Your Eyes
09. Last Goodbye
10. After The Night Is Over
11. Run With a Dream
12. Right Now
Lead & Backing Vocals: Michael Kiske & Amanda Somerville
Guitars, Keyboards: Magnus Karlsson
Bass, Backing Vocals: Mat Sinner
Drums: Veronika Lukesova
Once again Chris Impellitteri and Rob Rock team up for killer stab of Melodic US Shredding Metal; IMPELLITTERI, one of the definitive US Metal acts from the '80s are back with a new album entitled "Venom", released by Frontiers Records with 2 bonus tracks in its European Edition.
Chris Impellitteri influenced thousand players with his virtuoso guitar style, and together with 'the metal vocalist' Rob Rock they've carved names for themselves around the world. Every time they get together magic happens and “Venom” is no exception.
Impellitteri's fret work is dazzling as usual, he always seems to know when to let loose and when to hold back. Unlike some guitar wizards he doesn't get in the way of the song, that's always been the case with the band, it seems a strong chorus is just as import than the solos.
Rob Rock's powerhouse delivery blends perfectly with Impellitteri's style, for those who appreciate melody and harmony this album is pure ear candy.
“Venom” has a bit of a theme to it, they are taking you on a journey through all the ages of Metal. Having said that, it's not forced and the songs stands on their own.
I appreciated that they did add a few different elements to the music, songs like “Rise” and “Domino Theory” in particular seem to be a bit more forward thinking and unique.
Don’t get me wrong, they don’t stray that far from the foudational US metal / hard rock that everyone loves, but they’re not just filling the album with a bunch of soundalike tracks. I think that’s a big misconception about this underrated genre, there is room for some experimenting and “Venom” does explore some of those boundaries.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the rhythm section of James Pulli on bass and Jon Dette on drums. These guys have the task of giving these songs their backbone and they do so extremely well, the album in it’s entirety is a spectacular piece of kick ass metal music.
Are you afraid to Rock? '80s US Metal sounds too much outdated for you?
You better check Impellitteri's "Venom"... this motherf* rocks like few are capable today, a clear example of an era that it isn't dead, oh no guys, it's alive, energetic and kick ass as ever.
01 - Venom
02 - Empire Of Lies
03 - We Own The Night
04 - Nightmare
05 - Face The Enemy
06 - Domino Theory
07 - Jehovah
08 - Rise
09 - Time Machine
10 - Holding On
11 - Rock Through The Night (European Bonus Track)
12 - Reach For The Sky (European Bonus Track)
Chris Impellitteri – Guitars
Rob Rock – Vocals
James Pulli – Bass
Jon Dette – Drums
Dutch AOR Melodic Rockers TERRA NOVA are ready to release their forthcoming 6th studio album "Reinvent Yourself" on March 23rd via Melodic Rock Records.
The quartet fronted by Fred Hendrix is one of the long-lasting bands of the genre from Netherlands, as they remain active - with some breaks in-between - since their highly acclaimed debut album appeared in 1996.
Terra Nova's last 2 albums were released by Frontiers Records, but for "Reinvent Yourself" the band and the label had different views on which direction the record should take. This resulted in Terra Nova moving on to Melodic Rock Records.
Anyway, "Reinvent Yourself" is faithful to Terra Nova's classic sound; well-dosed in big arrangements, hooks and production, this new album still sounds like '80s / '90s arena rock.
Perhaps there's a few more modern approach on some cuts like "Shadow Man" or "Rock Army" where Terra Nova sounds similar to Two Of A Kind, the project formed by Fred & Ron Hendrix in 2007 which give birth to a very good self-titled album.
Nevertheless, the keyboards are used in a more complementary fashion, the guitar work more fiery, and Fred's vocals are more straight.
If anything, "Reinvent Yourself" may be Terra Nova's 'more rocking' disc to date.
But this band has a true Melodic Rock spirit, and most of the record is firmly planted in the traditional stylings of the genre.
There's lots of harmony vocals and catchy refrains / choruses on the great opener "Meltdown", title track "Reinvent Yourself" or the highly melodious "Expectations", with a jumping guitar work and synth flourishes.
The vocal arrangements also spark on the vital AOR of "Broken" - a highlight, while "Jenna" is a trademark Terra Nova mid-tempo ballad with a classy early '90s style.
I don't know why Frontiers Records dropped Terra Nova for "Reinvent Yourself", as this is a true Melodic Rock album much more 'melodic' than many artists in their roster at the present time.
In fact, Terra Nova's "Reinvent Yourself" is one of the best Melodic Rock albums appeared lately, at least speaking about variation between songcraft / sound. Some tracks are quite rocking while others AOR mid-tempo, providing a nice balance.
With a very good, clean production, "Reinvent Yourself" is a Highly Recommended listen by this blog.
02. Shadow Man
06. Rock Army
07. Reinvent Yourself
10. The Freeway To Our Destiny
Fred Hendrix - Vocals
Ron Hendrix - Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Gesuino Derosas - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Lars Beuving - Drums
American Melodic Hard Rockers TALON are back - with original vocalist Michael O'Mara again at the mic - with what is the best album of their career: "Fourplay", yes, their 4th effort.
While Talon's classy Melodic Hard Rock always infused by generous doses of AOR is still the backbone of the CD, some cuts shows they have some real Hard Rock fire in their belly.
You get this from the start; "Spun", "Sin City Sister" and "Holly Would" are flat out toe-tapping rockers with thick riffs, blistering groove and ripping guitar solos. These, in turn, are wrapped up in harmonious vocal arrangements and infectious melody.
Talon makes no apologies for it's roots in '80s Melodic Hard Rock, and "Holly Would" throws you back with its inherent sleaze factor thrown in. And it's so damn catchy.
But that simple word probably characterizes the breadth of this album.
Whether by melody, arrangement, or lyrics with memorable refrains, Talon works their Melodic Hard Rock / AOR wizardry.
"Set Me Free" does this with mostly with the vocals and lyrics, but also the deliberate rhythm that moves the song. Starting off with superb vocal harmonising, that raunchy rhythm section makes a welcome return in behind a simple, defiant guitar lick. The chorus is memorable to say the least and, upon its climax, you’re forced to ride a lightning bolt of a guitar solo straight into the next verse. This song is quite simply brilliant, from beginning to end, demonstrating everything that is right with this band of talented rockers. A highlight.
There's more impressive riffs and hooks in "There’s a Fine Line Between Love and Lust", and wonderful melodies adorned with acoustics on "I Don't Wanna Cry".
Alternatively, but not conversely, Talon reveals some of their edgy side as well. "Love Is Like A Drug to Me" has all the melodic flair, but it's moved by some heavy riffs. More so is "Evil", likely the heaviest song here, thanks to thick riffs, rumbling drums and its frenetic pace.
On the other side of this coin, that AOR soul finds a place in the anthemic ballad "Tonight". Yet even this song rises louder in the latter half with a mean guitar solo.
Later "Raise 'em High" also offers a smooth, generally lighter, sound, moved by the lyrics and vocal melody, with the guitar riffs not far behind.
Perhaps the wild card in all this is the finisher, "There Ain't Nothin' in the World Like A Rockin' Band". Moved at the start by some acoustic bluesy guitars, the tune quickly develops into this thumping hard rock number. A song, like all the others here, with the glorious mixture of all those proper elements that make traditional Melodic Rock, well, classic and entertaining. The song is also a not so subtle jab at soulless state of contemporary music.
"Fourplay" is undeniably Talon’s strongest release to date and boasts a great range of songs for any fan of Melodic Rock to enjoy. Hanging out more on the edgier side of the genre, this album reminded me a great deal of Swedish Rockers Treat and their 2010 release Coup de Grace, but also early Tyketto, The Storm and more.
It's an impressive collection of songs played with intensity and produced with a shiny, resplendent sound. Oh yeah, you even have AOR master Tim Pierce adding terrific Lead and Harmony Guitars on a couple of tracks.
A candidate for the 'best of the year' in everyone list.
02. Sin City Sister
03. Holly Would
04. Set Me Free
06. It's a Fine Line Between Love and Lust
08. I Don't Wanna Cry
09. Love Is Like a Drug to Me
10. Raise 'Em High
11. Hole in My Head
12. There Ain't Nothin' in the World Like a Rockin' Band
Michael O'Mara - Lead and Backing Vocals
Kory Voxen - Guitars
Jim Kee - Guitars
Phil Keller - Bass
John Parker - Drums
Tim Pierce - Lead and Harmony Guitars on 1, 5
Pete Fry - Lead Guitar on 9
Canadian shouter ROB MORATTI is a well known name for all Melodic Hard Rock / AOR fans, having released fine solo stuff, fronting Final Frontier, or between 2008 – 2011, legends Saga.
"Tribute To Journey" is his new studio release featuring Rob’s take on his favourite Journey songs. The album will be released on 20th March 2015 and it will be a Limited Edition of 1000 copies only, all numbered.
So what we have here is Rob's tribute to possibly the biggest AOR band in history. Although whilst it is very good, the question is... does the world need more Journey covers / tributes?
Yes and No.
No because there's have been tons of artists versioning these timeless classics, but Yes because Moratti wanted to do his own, and this album is clearly a labour of love for him.
Rob says; "Like many of us I grew up listening to Journey and I was always fascinated and amazed by their melodic songs especially with the gifted tone, range and delivery of Steve Perry.
Journey's had a positive effect in my youth and more so in my career. Their music has encouraged me way back when I was just teenager and there music still moves me today as they remain to be such a great influence. They still inspires my creative imagination.
I made the entire CD especially because I really had fun recording it.
I promised myself that if I enjoyed making this record with the music I love the most then I would release it and share it with my fans. I respect them too much to want take it lightly in the studio but I knew it had to be done right."
And indeed Rob Moratti has done a terrific job here.
Among my favorite covers there's "Ask The Lonely" filled with pianos, energetic bass, a great guitar solo and Rob's way of singing enhancing the catchy refrain. Also “Anyway You Want It” is worked with big doses of energy, amazing rhythmic section and enviable catchiness.
All the guys involved - including talented Torben Enevoldsen - deliver stupendous musicianship and crisp performances.
But Moratti's pipes are the star of the record. His take on "Why Can't This Night Go On Forever" from ‘Raised On Radio’ is excellent, and a real highlight.
You have great songs, but you need talent to cover them right. Rob Moratti succeeds on "Tribute To Journey", as you can feel his love for this stuff.
His singing comes from the heart, but of course, from his perfectly modulated throat.
Well arranged, performed and produced, "Tribute To Journey" is not just another tribute with various stars doing his contribution, it's an homogeneous piece of work from a man in love with one of the greatest bands of all time.
01 - Separate Ways
02 - Only The Young
03 - Don't Stop Believin'
04 - Faithfully
05 - Ask The Lonely
06 - Who's Cryin' Now
07 - Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'
08 - Stone In Love
09 - Anyway You Want It
10 - Why Can't This Night Go On Forever
11 - Be Good To Yourself
12 - Mother Father
Rob Moratti - Vocals And Background Vocals Midi Sampling
Torben Enevoldsen - Guitars, Keyboards, Bass,Midi Sampling And Background Vocals
Graham Fillier - Guitars, Midi Sampling And Background Vocals
Piero Greco - Bass And Background Vocals
Stu Reid - Drums And Background Vocals
Released today, "Ruby Voodoo" is the second album from Australian hard rockers TONK, but the first with a world-wide exposure that could put this quintet on the international map.
Tonk style is inspired by classic rock bands from their homeland like AC/DC and Rose Tattoo, yet more dynamic, melodic and with a bit of a modern spin to sound 2015.
There's nothing ground-breaking in Tonk's music, but their songs are ridiculously catchty. "Ruby Voodoo" delivers eminently solid, hard-hitting classic hard rock, all through 11 short, effective tunes.
The key here is soul. This isn't music made to order by trend-obsessed automatons for brain dead consumer kicks – it's living, breathing, screaming rock n'roll dripping with sass n' attitude for sure, but most importantly running rivers of sincerity from every pore.
Tonk make this music because they love it and, by extension, if you love it too then they make this music for you. There's a modern touch here and there, which only adds freshness to the final product.
Recorded in Byron Bay 301 Studios by legendary knob twiddler Nick Didia on the same mixing console that birthed many of the biggest hits coming from Australia in the '80s, you can almost feel that direct line to greatness pulsing through every utterance the record belches forth.
From opening track "Pleasure and Pain" propelled by the serpentine riffage of guitarists Steve and Ben whose stop-start six string syncopation steams out of the speakers in screamingly sensational style, to closing number "Over the Edge" which mixes Zeppelin riffage and off-kilter Van Halen melodies but actually sounds like neither of those two bands thanks to the heart on sleeve vocalising of lead throat Jinks, Tonk rocks in fine style all over.
In between these two audial landmarks you’ll find 9 other tracks utterly worthy of your attention, each one propelled by the rock solid engine room of Matt (drums) and bassist Mikey, each one possessing enough hooks, soloing and general catchiness to last most new bands labouring in this field a lifetime.
Fans of Eighties-flavoured hard rock shot through with a serious early Nineties sensibility will gobble up everything Tonk has to offer on "Ruby Voodoo".
As said, they add a dash of modernity yet basically on few sonic embellishments to keep things updated and fresh.
But to sum up, if you've any interest in hard driving, well played rock n'roll from any era, you should check this guys.
01 - Pleasure & Pain
02 - Snake Eyes
03 - Voodoo
04 - White Knuckle Ride
05 - Last Goodbye
06 - 9 Lives
07 - End Of The Line
08 - One To Five
09 - Scene Queen
10 - One Foot In The Grave
11 - Over The Edge
Jinks - Vocals
Steve - Guitars
Ben - Guitars
Matt - Drums
Mikey - Bass