Blue Tears' self-titled debut from 1990 was a cult melodic rock classic- Bon Jovi style tunes with Def Leppard-esque gang vocals: some found it derivative, others loved it, as I do to this day.
After seemingly vanishing, the past 12 months has seen the Blue Tears name rise lazarus-like. Two full-length albums of unreleased material were put out in quick succession, they played twice at the Firefest festival, and now main singer, songwriter and guitarist Gregg Fulkerson (the sole survivor from the original) has put out an album of wholly new material.
The Bon Jovi influences are still there, particularly on two of the best songs, She wants to be a star and Run for your life, complete with ‘who-oahs'. But the cover of a view of the plains from a wide open highway, and the lyrics of escaping small town drudgery and reminiscing about more youthful times tell you that Gregg has moved more into the field of heartland American rock. I noticed at Firefest his voice had moved into gruff Springsteen-esque territory: I love this type of music, but songs like the opener Drive, with its E Street Band style piano melody, and Gloryland, right down to the title, are a complete pastiche of the Boss!
The good news is that Gregg's songwriting talent show through on rockers like Fast Times and Silent Scream, and more mid-tempo material such as Let it Rain. But the other downside to this album is a sub standard production, with annoyingly tinny and at times monotonous drums and sounding like demo versions in places.
With so much Blue Tears product released recently, I wonder whether this has been rush released and, after waiting 16 years, fans like me would have been prepared to sit tight a little longer for a more fully crafted album.