Frontiers [Release date 07.07.17]
All 4 1 are another Frontiers project, with this one overseen by Alessandro Del Vecchio, who produced the album as well as playing keys and co-writing a few songs. The band consists of half of Alliance (about time they did a new album!), namely vocalist/bassist Robert Berry and guitarist Gary Pihl (ex-Boston/Sammy Hagar), joined by drummer Matt Starr (Mr. Big/Ace Frehley) and vocalist Terry Brock (Strangeways/The Sign). Nigel Bailey also pops-up on backing vocals and song writing.
Musically there are no surprises on here, the band sounding like a mix of Strangeways and Alliance, with a big nod to 80′s melodic rock. At times this really works like the opening salvo of ‘After The Rain’ (when both Robert Berry and Terry Brock duet you get melodic rock bliss) and ‘Cyanide’ – the latter rocks out nicely. However, ‘Don’t Surrender (To Love)’ sounds a little formulaic and ‘Never Back Down Again’ sounds like it was left of an 80′s action movie soundtrack.
A couple of stand out moments are ‘Mother Don’t Cry’ with an impassioned vocal from Terry Brock and a big guitar solo from Gary Pihl. Speaking of Gary Pihl there are shades of Boston in the guitar on ‘Hero In Your Life’, the other stand out song.
What would have been a typical run of the mill melodic rock album is saved by the vocal performances of Terry Brock and Robert Berry, along with Alessandro Del Vecchio’s suitably glossy production. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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DARWIN Cosmic Rays (indie)
MICHAEL THOMPSON BAND Love & Beyond (Frontiers)
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14:00-16:00 BUFORD POPE The Waiting Game (Unchained Records)
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