HOT NEW AOR REVIEWS
|LOVE HUNTER 'Love Hunter' (SPORTIN'
LOVE HUNTER features Kelvin Fischer who is responsible for the music and concept on the debut CD of LOVE HUNTER. Kelvin is a very talented man who plays guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and also sings all 8 songs on the CD. Kelvin comes from Naples, Florida and musically this is classy 80s melodic rock/AOR which reminds me of the old DOKKEN, JOE ROBINSON and PHIL VINCENT. This is quality hookladen melodic rock which can be heard right from the start.
Opener "Love hunter" is a great hookladen 80s typed melodic rocker which is in the old DOKKEN style (circa 'Back for the attack'). Following track "In my heart you'll stay" is a great semi melodic rockballad. "All I want is you" follows and is one of the best songs on the CD. This is classy 80s uptempo AOR/Melodic Rock with lovely keys and hooklines reminding me of 8084, NIGHTWORK, PHIL VINCENT and PHIL CHRISTIAN/BIG MOUTH. The following two songs are not so sensational, but still enjoyable melodic rocker. "Lonely night" and "You gotta love it" are both reminding me of the 80s catchy melodic rocksound of BON JOVI.
The last 3 songs are all wonderful and really make this CD worth to purchase. "You took a piece of my heart" is a great AOR song a la 8084, PHIL VINCENT again. "Hold on to yesterday" is a lovely semi AOR ballad. Closing track "Waiting for me" is the best song of the whole CD. This is prime-time classic 80s AOR which basically reminds me of all the 80s bands that made this genre for what it is today.
LOVE HUNTER is a band to watch out for this year, because they play quality AOR/Melodic Rock. For more info on them, I advise you to check out their site at: http://www.mp3.com/lovehunter or http://www.aimcmc.com/lovehunter.html and e-mail at: email@example.com or wait a few weeks, because soon an interview with LOVE HUNTER on this site.
|SIAM 'Siam' (INDEPENDENT)
This Californian band has a long history behind them which goes back to the late 70s when SIAM was formed. After many struggles and line-up switches, the band now has a steady line-up and they released their first CD. The band features female lead vocalist Bonnie Bishop and musically SIAM is a big surprise, because they play late 70s/early 80s oriented Pomprock influenced AOR Rock. I hear some clear similarities to bands like STORM (1979-1983), 1994, GROUNDSTAR and also some JEFFERSON STARSHIP.
The keyboards and synthesisers make the AOR of SIAM sound very pompous. There are 10 songs on their CD and it all starts with "Loss of control", a nice late 70s melodic rocker a la 1994/JET which also has a cool spacy keyboard/synthsolo which gives this song a Pompous touch. Next track "Take my hand" is a bit weaker groovy MHR song a la STORM (the band that put out albums in 1979 and 1983). "Wolves of the dawn" follows in a slow tempo and has a very good melodic chorus.
Next up is the good semi ballad "Look back", which reminds me of the old HEART. Following track "Eagles" has some great keys/synths at the start which is totally mid 80s AOR. The song itself is a good AOR rocker with a very pompous sound and actually reminding me of the old Pomprockband GROUNDSTAR. "Rock me Siam" is a nice late 70s rocker a la 1994. Then we get to hear "The legend", in which Pomp meets Melodic Rock (a la STORM, GROUNDSTAR).
Safe the best for last, because the best songs can be found towards the end of the CD. I am talking about "Rock solid" and "Friends". "Rock solid" is a great early 80s heavy female AOR rocker which is in the TORONTO style. And "friends" is a terrific semi AOR ballad which sounds very huge and brings back memories of the TANE CAIN classic from 1982. Just listen to the wonderful vocals of Bonnie and the great keyboards of Greg Lavars. The closing track of the CD is "Nightstalker" which is a bit weaker groovy MHR. Concluded this SIAM is quite an interesting female fronted band that combines the 70s Pomprock with 80s AOR/Melodic Rock. If you like any of the mentioned bands, you should check out this great new band at: https://www.angelfire.com/ca/BonnieBishop/siam2.html
|RON WRIGHT BAND 'Ron Wright Band' (RDW
Guitarist Ron Wright sent me his new CD which has been released under the bandname RON WRIGHT BAND. The same titled CD features only 3 songs performed by a real band line-up. The CD opens with "Party tonight", a 70s oriented rocker that kinda reminds me of the old TED NUGENT records. The second track is the best song on the CD. This song is called "Join us", a good midtempo rocker that sounds like STYX meets URIAH HEEP. Closing track "Lost lovers" is a bit strange slowtempo rocker/ballad. For more info on the RON WRIGHT BAND, sent an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org Ron is also shopping for a new record deal & distribution, e-mail him for details.
|DANGER DANGER 'The return of the
great gildersleeves' (MTM
What the hell is a gildersleeve? Never mind, album number five for D2 and the first time this hit my boom box I have to admit that I thought it sucked big time, but I perservered with it for a bit longer, and hey this is a blinding hard rock album. This is Paul Laine's third venture with D2 and I tell you what his voice is mega powerful, very much like how he sang on his solo albums in that JON BON JOVI range. "Gildersleeves" continues on from where "Four The Hard Way" left off, and mixes that album with D2's first two albums and the affore mentioned Paul Laine solo albums. So what you have is a tasty collection of eleven shit hot hard rock songs with enough edge to get the band back on course to where they were back in the eighties, when Ted Poley was with them.
Things kick off with
the rocking "Grind", a great american rock song
with a slight modern edge, "When She's Good, She's
Good", is very very BON JOVI sounding, huge chorus
great riffs the lot, a belter of a track, D2 are well and
truly back!! Next up is "Six Million Dollar
Man", and yes you've guessed it, the track borrows
some segments from the TV series during the intro, and
then bursts into a modern melodic rocker, this could
almost be a
"Dead Drunk And
Wasted" is another favourite, first impression of
this song is not a good one, but it grows on you,
sometimes on this album it feels as if D2 have gone
And another great song
rears it's ugly head in the form of "Cherry
Cherry", listen to Bruno's bass thumping, this song
bring's back memories of the debut album, very catchy
with a singeable chorus and a dancefloor hit!!! Man this
is a cool song!! "Get In The Ring", is slightly
heavier and is a mix of DOKKEN and VON GROOVE, I do love
the guitar madness
I hope the boys come over to the UK for some gigs this time, as live this will be killer diller!! Almost every song is greated with memorable choruses and great guitar work which also features Andy Timmons on various tracks, Stevie West pounds his way through the songs, and Paul Laine is on fine form. A great return from one of americas finest!!
Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Nicky Baldrian)
|PRIOR PARK 'Welcome to Prior
California's Prior Park are a
very classy aor hard rock band, their music has a late
seventies - mid eighties feel, the songs are simple and
grip their hooks into you from the very first play.
Onto the songs, the
opening duo of "Once You Get Started" and
"Let Me Be The One" are two very catchy songs
with some nice guitar work, the nice thing is that Prior
Park's music is very real, the production is raw and
stripped down which adds to the LIVE feel, which makes
the songs stand proud and in your face, these two songs
are a pleasure to listen to,
"It's Gonna Take Some Time" drops in pace and this is where the HARLAN CAGE similairties fall into place, this is a moody piece, a sweet ballad of pure emotion. Prior Park rock things up a little with some cool guitar friendly americana on "Bring The Magic To Me", this is also a nice song with some beautiful keyboard action. Now then with "In My Arms Tonight" Prior Park deliver a very classy ballad, just close your eyes and let the song , melt your body with it's passion filled delivery, awesome!!
Now then, with "One Kind Of A Woman" the band take on an almost new direction, you could say that this is pure west coast aor, but i'd sooner say that this song leans towards power pop bands like TEARS FOR FEARS and WHAM!! etc..still good though, then we get a very very special song, this is called "The Castle", and wins top song award with ease, and what a magical song it is, a total change in musical structures, as it leans towards progressive aor/rock, perhaps something that RICHIE BLACKMORE, IAN GILLAN or maybe even BOB CATLEY would be happy to record, in fact Prior Park should sell this song to Now And Then Records, i'm sure they could make great use of it for someone like CATLEY or STUART SMITH, or better still sign the god damn band!!
The last song "Impressions", is a song that maybe you'd find ERIC JOHNSON, SPOCK'S BEARD or even GENESIS creating, it's another stunning song that shows a sense of diversitiy within Prior Parks fold. And that's the refreshing thing about this band, they are not afraid to go with their natural instincts, they could have played it safe and turned out and album full mid-paced hard rock, but instead the album leaves you wanting more, so the final verdict, is simple, great songs played by great musicans, need you ask for more dear readers? One of the greatest independent releases of recent months, watch the record labels fight over these guys!!! Contact: http://www.mp3.com/priorpark
Rating: 9/10 (Review by Nicky Baldrian)
|PRIOR PARK 'Passport' (INDEPENDENT)
Besides 'Welcome to the park', PRIOR PARK also released a CD titled 'Passport' which also features 8 songs of which 2 also appeared on the above reviewed CD. These are the melodic AOR rocker "Nothing's gonna bring me down" and "The castle" (which now sounds like STYX - "Boat on the river"). What remains are 6 interesting songs of this Californian AOR outfit. "The ride" is a great semi melodic rocker.
The band really moves into Classic early 80s AOR on the song "She turned out the light on me", a fantastic uptempo AOR song which reminds me of bands such as CINEMA, NIGHTWORK, BOOTCAMP, PROPHET This is the AOR style I prefer to hear and if PRIOR PARK would put more songs like these on a future record, then they would easily become one of the best indie AOR bands around.
Still the band has a lot to offer, because a song like "Together" is also a very nice (calmer) AOR song. This CD captures a couple of different music influences which can clearly be heard in "One kind of woman", a 70s pop influenced TOTO oriented track. Same goes for the already mentioned "The castle". The songs I haven't mentioned yet are "C'mon everybody" (nice melodic rocker) and "Impressions" (good semi AOR ballad).
PRIOR PARK has a lot of potency to become one of the best indie AOR bands around today. Check out their mp3 site at: http://www.mp3.com/priorpark for all the information and listen to their songs, especially I would recommend you to listen to their fantastic AOR song "She turned out the light on me", Classic 80s AOR at it's best! The band still exists and is working on new material. More details about this and other stuff concerning PRIOR PARK can be read in an interview which will be uploaded to this site later this month.
|PRIOR PARK 'Welcome to
PRIOR PARK comes out of El Dorado, California and has released two CDs. Leader of the band is Jeff Heller who plays bass, keyboards and sings on the CDs. 'Welcome to Prior Park' features 8 songs and musically we are into 80s typed AOR/Melodic Rock territory. The band reminds me a lot of LITTERER, they play somewhat the exact same style. There are also influences from NIGHT RANGER, 38 SPECIAL and the old THRILLS.
The first two songs ("Once you get started" and "Let me be the one") are good uptempo melodic rockers like 38 SPECIAL. Then we get to hear the fantastic song "Aim for the heart", a classy mid 80s AOR tune which reminds me a lot of the old NIGHT RANGER. In this same style is the song "Nothin's gonna bring me down" which also has some VAN HALEN influences here and there. "It's gonna take some time" and "In my arms tonight" are the semi AOR ballads on this CD and sound like a mix between REO SPEEDWAGON and 80s NIGHT RANGER.
Remaining tracks are the melodic rocker "Bring the magic to me" and closing track "The castle", a bit experimental song which falls a little out of place between the rest of the tracks on this CD. A good record and recommended to evreyone that likes early 80s melodic rock/aor in the style of bands such as NIGHT RANGER, 38 SPECIAL, LITTERER
|MARCK 'Messenger - Demo
MARCK is a multi-instrumentalist from Buenos Aires, Argentina and sent me a demo CD of his CD 'Messenger'. There are 10 songs on the album which was released in 1998. Unfortunately there are no vocals on the record, so we can call this a full instrumental album. Though I always prefer music with vocals, this doesn't sound bad either.
'Messenger' is a very relaxing space instrumental Melodic Rock CD. But what if vocals would be added, then it could all be more interesting I think. Still if you're into instrumental melodic rock, then you'll sure love this CD. More info on MARCK at: http://marck.musicpage.com
LOST REFLECTION comes out of Italy and put out this demo tape back in 1997. The tape contains 4 songs and musically it is 80s Melodic Rock, which reminds me of SHY (the high-pitched lead vocals) meets DOKKEN (the sound). The tape starts with "Keep your dreams alive", a good 80s typed melodic rocker like DOKKEN/80s RATT. Next track "The boys are all around" is a very good AOR/Melodic rocker a la SHY, though the song has a clear demo sound.
Next track "Eternal lover" starts with some nice piano-keys and is a great AOR/Melodic Rockballad in the TNT/SHY style. Closing track "Outlaw" is slightly heavier MHR like TNT meets ROUGH CUTT. A fine tape and I look forward to a new tape that is due out this year. Yet the line-up of LOST REFLECTION has totally changed, because the only original member left is Fabrizio Fulco, the bassist of the band. More info on LOST REFLECTION at: http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Palms/7111/lostr.htm and e-mail Fabrizio at: email@example.com
|TRITON 'Back on Gaia' (INDEPENDENT)
TRITON comes out of Finland and they sent me a 4-track CD. The music on 'Back on Gaia' is reminding me a lot of of the old EUROPE record and then I am talking about their first and second CD. So, basically what you get here is quality melodic heavy rock. "Walk on fire" opens the CD and is a progressive melodic rocker which instrumental reminds me of the old EUROPE, but vocally it is a bit weak and screaming.
Happily, the vocals sound better in the following track "I'm alive" which is a pretty good Scandi uptempo melodic AOR rocker. This song also has some great keys. "Remember yesterday" follows and is actually a great semi melodic rockballad. The final track is the bonustrack "The neverending dream", a nice uptempo melodic rocker which is reminding me a lot of late 220 VOLT.
TRITON is a fine band and everyone who like bands such as 220 VOLT, PRETTY MAIDS and the first couple of EUROPE albums (pre-'The final countdown') will like the mini-CD of these Finish rockers. More info at: http://members.tripod.com/triton_band/
|THE LIMIT 'Dysfunction' (INDEPENDENT)
If your tastes are
likened to a spot of JOURNEY, SAMMY HAGAR, HAREM SCREAM,
AIRBORNE and most eighties rock bands, then your in for a
nice little suprise with this nifty US hard rock outfit
who score a point above the normal run of the mill bands,
thanks to the bands great musianship which sounds very
real and if the band mean it and that they are having
Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Nicky Baldrian)