Frontiers [Release date 09.08.19]
Those lovely people at Frontiers have treated us to another fine slab of late 80’s/early 90’s rock, the spotlight this time falling on New York’s Spread Eagle. Not so much of a comebaclk in this case as the band have been performing together again since 2006.
Without sounding dated, “Subway To The Stars” pretty much picks up where the band left off, good hard rock delivered with a sense of urgency, and maybe even a little prog like at times (listen to “Dead Air” and “Grand Slam”, the latter of which has some excellent Maiden like elements throughout).
The highlights of the album for me are “Sound of Speed” and “Cut Through”, both of which showcase the skills of new guitarist Ziv Shalev, and the album stealing “Antisocial Butterfly”. There is a clever use of album intro and outro here (and in this case, what I am also going to call midtro) which links back to the album’s title, starting with “Subway To The Stars” and closing the acoustic “Solitaire” (and midway through on the opening of “More Wolf Than Lamb”) we have New York subway announcements, and this works really well.
The prize for the most excellently titled song of the year, so far, has to go to “Gutter Rhymes For Valentines”. Special mention must also be made to “29th Of February”, a track that may or may not be tongue in cheek, but either way almost feels like a tribute to fellow New Yorkers The Ramones.
“Subway To The Stars” is a great album and will hopefully bring Spread Eagle to Europe soon. ****
Review by Nikk Gunns
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