Frontiers Records [Release date 29.01.16]
Frontiers new project sees former Dio guitarist Craig Goldy continue his return to the spotlight following Giuffria’s poorly received and presumably short lived reunion at Rockingham. This time he has teamed up with a line up of seasoned pros including singer Chas West, one of those names who seems to have been around the scene for ages, bassist Sean MacNabb and even his old Dio bandmate Vinny Apppice on drums.
The good news is that the sound is that of a proper band, unlike many of the label’s studio collaboration projects and they carry off a macho, blustering bluesy hard rock in the style of Lynch Mob, Burning Rain and Bangalore Choir.
The accompanying blurb states that their mission was to create a ‘Whitesnake 1987’ vibe which is making a rod for their own backs. Craig is certainly given full reign to shred away in a manner that calls to mind John Sykes in places while on the likes of ‘Livin Out Loud’ and ‘Falling for You’ Chas has a very Coverdale tone to his rich, swaggering voice with perhaps a touch of Craig’s old bandmate David Glen Eisley thrown in.
However where the 1987 comparisons end is in a lack of memorable songs: – it is only four songs in that ‘Who Do You Run To’ first has a stand out hook. Although there are some moments of quality- the semi ballad ‘Never Say goodbye’ enlivened by a sweet solo from Craig, and ‘Don’t Have to Fight No More’ which has the air of prime time Rainbow- there are not enough and the overall effect can be rather monotonous.
By the time the weakest track ‘What You Take’ ends the album it becomes apparent that while the sound created is mighty enough, a lack of songwriting quality makes this a ultimately a rather dry listen which I won’t be returning to regularly. *** 1/4
Review by Andy Nathan
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