Frontiers [Release date: 11.03.22]
Find Me is Robbie LaBlanc, a rock vocalist who enjoys iconic status, and Daniel Flores (and his band) who’s on the same path, if not the same trajectory.
The duo have been breathing new life into the AOR and Melodic Rock genre for 10 years now. The aptly titled Lightning In A Bottle is their fourth album together, and they clearly have no pretensions to finding a new authenticity in a style of music that’s forty years old.
The album is brimful of heartstopping hooks, vertiginous choruses, sparkling guitar and keyboard work. The music is sleek, athletic and light on is feet, with just enough framework constructed around each gorgeous melody to carry it home. But most of all it’s about Blanc’s wonderfully expressive vocals.
There are welcome echoes of Mark Free and Signal throughout the grandiose ‘Sail Away’. It’s occasionally overblown, tending toward pomp rock, but that was typical of such bands who were really pushing the AOR envelope back then. It’s good to hear one of today’s bands being unafraid to rummage around in the past for the cool stuff.
‘Distant Echoes’ and ‘Remember Its Me’ are infuriatingly addictive. They maybe don’t provide massive hits on first listen but after a few spins you’ll be mainlining on a regular basis.
Keyboard player Vince DiCola guests on ‘Far From Over’, the song he wrote with Frank Stallone for the “Staying Alive” movie soundtrack.
It’s an instant candidate for top pick here, not just because it’s a great melodic rock song, but because of its accessibility, its sheer spine tingling immediacy.
No AOR album is complete without at least one heartfelt ballad. This album has two.
The chest beating ‘Back To You’ and the tearful ”You and I’ clearly illustrate the joy and romanticism of archetypal AOR. They as much capture Lightning In A Bottle as the in-your-face material does elsewhere.
In all honesty, it doesn’t get much better than this. ****1/2
Review by Brian McGowan
Josh Taerk’s latest Sunday Session was streamed on Sunday 22 May.
Next session: Sunday 26 June.
Check out previous videos here: https://www.facebook.com/getreadytorockradio
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 12 June 2022.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 14 June 2022.
How to Listen Live?
Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)
Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.
More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages: getreadytorockradio.com
Power Plays w/c 13 June 2022 (Mon-Fri)
IVORY SKIES – Bring Me Up (indie)
HONG FAUX Feign Death To Stay Alive (Golden Robot Records)
OVERLAPS Mind Over Matter (indie)
SOLE SYNDICATE – Brave Enough (Scarlet Records)
DAVID PAICH Spirit Of The Moonrise (Mascot)
JAILBIRDS The River (indie)
NOUVEAU ARCADE Die On Me Now (FiXT)
Featured Albums w/c 13 June (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 DEF LEPPARD Diamond Star Halos (BMG)
12:00-13:00 LONERIDER Sundown (Escape Music)
14:00-16:00 VANDERWOLF 12 Little Killers (Vandermax Music)
Tweets by Get Ready to ROCK!