Album review: AMERICAN TEARS – Hard Core


Escape Music [Release date 23.04.18]

American Tears first surfaced in 1974 and were a power trio focussed around the keyboards of Mark Mangold,who is the sole remaining original member on this album, and indeed the only musician playing all the keys and drums. The band made three albums before morphing into AOR/melodic rock favorites Touch. For this album Mark Mangold used only keyboards available in the 70′s to capture the band’s original sound.

Lovers of 70′s prog from the likes of Focus (check out ‘Smoke And Mirrors’) and the pomptastic bombast of Vangelis (‘Nuclear’ – astounding keys on this one), will certainly enjoy the music on here. ‘The Ferryman’ is the nearest the album gets to his other bands Touch and Drive, She Said (the lyric even mentions silver white which was a DSS song) sound, making for a classy piece of AOR.

‘Fyre’ seems to borrow a few chords from ‘Fire’ by the Crazy World Of Arthur Brown – perhaps a cheeky tribute?! This song is the only one to feature a guest musician, Jake E on backing vocals. The organ and keys playing are top notch on this one and throughout the album.

You could argue this is a Mark Mangold solo album, however the music remains faithful to the band’s original remit of keyboards led rock and the American Tears’ sound was built around the keyboards of Mangold. ’Hard Core’ will surprise and delight fans of the band who would have rightly thought that this band were consigned to the musical history books. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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Power Plays w/c 2 April 2018

TAX THE HEAT Taking The Hit (Nuclear Blast)
BLACKBERRY SMOKE Nobody Gives A Damn (Earache)
CATTAIL BREW Fool’s Gold (Capital City Music Factory/Cargo Records)

Featured Albums w/c 2 April (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 FRONTLINE State Of Rock + 2 (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 GUS G Fearless (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 TRACK DOGS Kansas City Out Groove (Mondegreen Records)

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