New Jersey debutants Dream Eternal Bliss deliberately bringing together the 80s pop of bands like Berlin, Roxette, and Duran Duran, and fuse it with the AOR melodic dexterity of bands like Toto on their debut EP.

Scott Kahn and Derek Davodowich had been co-guitarists in the neo-prog outfit Days Before Tomorrow. DBT were no longer together, and Kahn wanted to put his guitar down and focus his keyboard playing.  Both had always had a soft spot for the 80s new wave pop, so why not mash the two genres?

Why not indeed.  Drummer Byron Barbieri was recommended by a mutual friend, and fellow DBT bass player Pete Blomstrom was brought in for the sessions, if not for a formal place in the line-up.

All that was missing was a singer, and they took a chance on Carrie Edwards, who impressed in auditions with her ‘raw, undeveloped talent’ (and by not sounding like just about every other wannabe singer).  And Edwards does have a unique style – marrying the ‘girlie’ tones introduced to us many years ago by Cyndi Lauper (and mimicked by many since) with the warble of a young Stevie Nicks.

There’s some great playing – sweeping synths, and some lovely guitar work from Davodowich.  In that sense, DEB is ‘mission achieved’ and it’s nice to hear such a pomped up melodic rock with a vocalist who sounds likes she hasn’t just stepped off the production line.

There may be no obvious ‘hits’, but it’s a solid and enjoyable set that takes you ‘back to the future’.  If there’s a criticism, it’s that the vocals get a little muddied in the production and combined with Edwards’ delivery (which I’m not convinced sits entirely comfortably with the material) it makes the lyrics a little impenetrable at times.  But, hey, a lyric sheet would sort that out.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley

THREE DAYS FROM RETIREMENT If We Keep Walking, Eventually We’ll Fall Off

Three Days From Retirement are an cinematic, instrumental 5 piece from Edinburgh, and If We Keep Walking, Eventually We’ll Fall Off their second, 4 track EP.

A thing of considerable beauty, it takes you back to the halcyon days of Tangerine Dream – moody, sweeping, atmospheric, and ambient punctuated.  The only difference, the occasional peppering of Biffy style bombasticity, and a modicum of talk over on SpookyActionAcrossDistance.

Small wonder that an independent Scottish production company will feature their music in a forthcoming film.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley

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In this show, first broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 2 February 2020, David Randall plays a selection of tracks from some of the artists who impressed at this year’s Giants Of Rock event in Minehead (24-27 January).

Featured Albums w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 NEWMAN Ignition (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 BLACK SWAN Shake The World (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 CORMAC O CAOIMH Swim Crawl Walk Run (indie)

Power Plays w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)

SHAKRA Turn The Light On (AFM Records)
THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA Transmissions (Nuclear Blast)
RYDERS CREED Lost Soul (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)
FRAMING HANLEY Puzzle Pieces (Thermal Entertainment LLC)
ROBERT HART Mysterious (Escape Music)

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