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(Now & Then/Frontiers FRCD153) (2003)

Debut album by the band formed by ex-Dare/Asia/Ten/Ultravox guitarist Vinny Burns and ex-Ultravox/Ya Ya vocalist Sam Blue. FM drummer Pete Jupp and Wishbone Ash bassist Bob Skeat rounds out the band. The band made their live debut at this year’s Gods Festival and made a good impression on the crowd.

The album is classic British melodic rock, which encompasses classic 70’s acts like Bad Company and more recent acts like the sadly missed FM and Skin. The two opening tracks are superb! ‘Cool Me Down’ storms out of the speakers with guitars to the front and Sam Blue’s vocals making the track. ‘Tell It To Me Straight’ is the closet to FM on here, another rocker with Vinny Burns switching from chunky riffs to quick solos. There are mellower moments in ‘Lover’s Game’, a slow burner with plenty of guitar. The sound is very clear and crisp throughout the record, with each song built on a strong rhythm line. ‘Crazy’ rumbles along nicely and ‘She Wrote’ has a slight Americana feel to it, adding a touch of variety to the proceedings. ‘Hung Out To Dry’ has a very catchy riff and would make a good single. No real fillers although ‘Where Are You Now’ is perhaps the weakest track on here.

Very strong debut from a band who deserve success and hopefully will get out onto the road as they are strong live as well. One heartily recommended for all melodic rock fans out there, especially those who hanker after FM and Skin.



Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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