Deadline/Cleopatra [Release date 07.10.16]
French multi-instrumentalist Steph Honde released a debut album in 2014 with Paul D’ianno and Vinny Appice in the ranks and ‘Capture The Sun’ continues the tradition. Albums that feature a roster of name artists – legends if you will – brought together by a single musician rise and fall by the strength of the material. And unfortunately no amount of talent can cover up the lack of killer tunes on his latest offering. The same applied to that debut.
The album might be of only passing interest to fans of the participating artists, so if you like Vinny Appice, Tracy G and Neil Murray investigate one track, ‘Evilution’. Elsewhere it’s clear that Honde takes a cue from the Coverdale school of crooning (‘Waiting’) although in truth at the end he over-extends himself. The track ‘Another Day In Grey Part II’ is as drab as the title.
Honde makes a play for widescreen acceptance with the spoken word effects on the instrumental ‘Don’t Let It Happen’ but Pink Floyd it ain’t. Jenny Haan (Babe Ruth) crops up on the title track but regrettably it is a duet with Honde. And perhaps inevitably – with a paucity of decent material – Honde falls back on two covers: the eight-minute Bowie’s Sweet Thing/Candidate and a bonus knees-up of ‘Fool For Your Loving’.
You wonder what bigger name artists gain from these collaborations. For Honde, he may think he benefits from other-wordly associations. But for the rest of us more grounded individuals, the words turgid and dire spring to mind. **1/2
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
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