Understandably, as he was raised on a regular intake of Rainbow
and MSG, Taz Taylor couldn't help growing up a guitar hero. He's perhaps not quite reached god status yet, but an upward trajectory is guaranteed by 'Welcome To America'
And this is without unveiling his secret weapon . . . Graham Bonnet. For yes, it is he . . . the voice of Rainbow
and MSG in the late seventies / early eighties.
In each case it was for one album only ('Down To Earth'
& 'Assault Attack'
), but arguably he was the voice that lifted both bands from cult status hell into mainstream hard rock heaven. (who among us cannot sing along to 'Since You've Been Gone' without giving it a second thought?).
Apparently, Taylor relocated from the UK to California some years ago. Inevitably, in search of F&F. As a virtual unknown, he registers huge surprise that Bonnet accepted his invitation to sing on 'Welcome To America'
. PR has it that they hit it off immediately and quickly gelled as songwriting collaborators. For once this is no hyperbole, and judging by the songs here, they share some kind of musical DNA.
They set out their stall on opener 'Fighter's Fist'.
heavily melodic but fantastically fierce riff is syncopated by a series of pounding percussive thumps that sound like incoming artillery shells. They need to to compete with Taylor's inventively bombastic guitar sound and Bonnet's primal howl.
Like all good rock music, The TT band's is liberally sprinkled with memorable melodies and sturdy hooks.
Wisely, they keep it simple. Bass guitar and drums are for creating headbanging rhythms. Keyboards are for underlining the riffs and the occasional short solo excursion. Guitars and vocals are for bruising us black and blue with hard hitting delivery.
and 'Silent Fall'
are absolute beacons of light on an album that illuminates the genre with songs that sparkle and shine. Hulking yet nimble hard rock songs that easily standout among much of the dross that passes for melodic rock nowadays.
Unquestionably, this is one of Escape's best releases of the last few years.
Written by Brian
Sunday, August 27, 2006Show all reviews by BrianRatingsBrian: 8/10
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