Jump to content


More than 25 Posts
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


  • Rank
    Carries a Tune in a Bucket
  • Birthday 06/05/1980

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  • ICQ
  • Yahoo

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    North Hollywood
  • Interests
    Classic rock, progressive rock, progressive metal, melodic rock, writing, recording, performing.

Previous Fields

  • Favorite Band
    Van Halen
  • Favorite CD
  1. STARFIRE does not stop. And next week, there is a brand new live DVD coming out. Here is the trailer... http://youtu.be/cn-ot50sbYY Drops September 28th.

    Starfire Album Release Concert press release

    Thanks! We do, too. It's an amazing venue and we're anyone in attendence will have a great time.

    80s/early 90's AOR suggestions?

    Just bands from those years or new bands with that sound? I would recommend Line of Fire, Fire Tiger, Britannia, Station and, naturally, my band if you're open to new bands with that late 80s/early 90s sound. There's also Lionville if you haven't heard of them before. Their 2nd CD is especially West Coasty.
  4. The very first music video from my band STARFIRE, "Cat Walk" the new single from the upcoming album due out September 30th on Dynasty Records: The Way I Am. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq_JG_E_4bo Please "like" and share, won't you?

    Work Of Art - In Progress

    Figured I'd reply to the existing thread with my own review rather than start a new one... For the Genre: ***** (5/5) Compared to the Era: ***** (5/5) Summary: Just three words for this one… Oh. My. God. I love the classic rock act like the next guy… Treat, Stan Bush, Nelson, Whitesnake, Night Ranger, Journey, Grand Illusion. When they can pull it off, and pull it off right, not caving into the stripped down tendencies of the dark decade (you know, the 1990s), I’m usually thrilled with the results. However, there’s only so many late 80s and early 90s Rock Candy releases I’m going to be interested in because I’ve heard it all before. My library is an extensive collection of what used to be Top 40, hard rock by the likes of Living Colour, Winger, Ratt and others. I don’t feel the need for any re-issues or more classic bands like Warrant or Styx to try to make a come back. It’s almost depressing to see my childhood idols in their 50s and sometimes 60s still try to rock it. I want to see guys my age, in their 20s and 30s, doing what I love. Heavy drums, hard rock guitar, intricate solo work and soaring, harmonic vocals. Apparently, Sweden is the answer to my prayers because Oh My God, Work Of Art—the next big thing out of the Scandinavian country—delivers every single piece of what my ears have craved since I was a little boy wearing out my father’s Quiet Riot cassette tapes. Left-handed guitarist, keyboardist and main composer Robert Sall teamed up with drummer Herman Furin years ago in music school according to their website. However, it wasn’t until they landed upper-stratospheric vocalist Lars Safsund that Frontiers would cut a deal with these guys to bring us their debut album, which I’m about to purchase due to the genius it brings in its own right. To be clear, there is so much right with this release that I hardly know where to begin. I can try to start with the fact that out of 12 songs, I love 11 of them. It’s an album for true lovers of Album Oriented Rock. Specific examples of that include the way “Eye of the Storm” seamlessly blends into “Until You Believe” or the way the clearly Toto-inspired “Fall Down” transitions into Castaway. Then there is the production exemplified by the absolutely enormous sound on the final track, “One Step Away” and on “Never Love Again,” which gives a die-hard 80s-rock fan like myself the sonic power we’ve been so utterly hungry for in new music for years. Then there is the highly creative single “The Great Fall” that when you close your eyes, you can imagine a dark arena with the lights coming on one at a time as the song gets ready to begin. It’s so catchy, just like “Nature of the Game” or the lead-off track, “The Rain.” So many songs on this disc make you want to sing along, like “Call On Me,” which is my absolute favorite on this CD for some reason—I wouldn’t call it the heaviest track, it’s just so catchy. Another sing-along ear-worm is the remarkable “Emelie,” by Sall and inspirational lyricist Hanif Sabzevari and further enhanced by the great low-end work by bassist Henrik Linder. Even though there was a huge number of people that worked on the production, from Safsund running the mix on six of the tracks and the other six by Bo Reimer to the local mastering hero Mats Lindfors mastering the record, it comes out like a solid piece of work. And I was so happy that Frontiers didn’t go cheap, and provided purchasing fans with a gorgeous jewel case with outstanding artwork by Mr. Carl-Andre Beckston. Even today, two years later, this CD has been spinning in my car almost non-stop since the moment it arrived in the mail and I can hardly think of a finer musical purchase that I’ve made in recent times. No one who loves Melodic Rock will regret getting this one. It’s an instant classic.
  6. Journey ECL1PS3 (2011) Frontiers Records Produced by: Kevin Shirley For the Genre: ***** (5/5) Compared to the Era: ***** (5/5) Summary: With a fresh, accessible sound, ECLIPSE is an epic sonic journey. By now, everyone should know that Journey can bring the goods. A veteran group with its original founding band leader, primary guitarist and composer Neal Schon still at the helm, writing and recording in San Francisco since before the poser days of the late 80s MTV scene on Sunset Boulevard, he’s still doing it the right way in the California bay area. Masterfully recorded with the great Kevin Shirley in Berkeley, California and in Nashville—the Live Session Recording Capital of the World—this disc is like owning a museum masterpiece in your own home. Disregard Frontiers’ el cheapo “Digipak” cardboard packaging and awkward slip-disc center packaging; between the outstanding artwork and delightful photography, this record is still worth purchasing physically. This isn’t hyperbole; I’m purchasing this one on Vinyl! Why not? There is NO filler on this album! Ordinarily, an album—especially by our favorite classic rock artists—kick off the set with a great lead off track, like Night Ranger’s “Somewhere in California,” only for each subsequent song more anemic than the last before eventually petering out; perhaps there is a nice hard hitting track somewhere near the end, but by then, you’re wishing you just streamed it over Spotify instead. Not Eclipse. Right after “City of Hope”—which is a freaking epic song with its huge vocal sound throughout, heavy guitar work and solid percussion work—come even more hook-healthy, groove-centric songs like “Chain of Love” or the intensely urgent “Edge of the Moment.” Then, there has never been a more Journey-sounding songs than the hard hitting “Ritual,” or “Tantra,” a dramatic, sweeping orchestral-backed piano ballad intro to the majestic rock supporting Arnel Pineda, who—in my opinion—should have been the end of the you- know-who should re-unite with the band “debate.” It’s over. It’s dead. It’s done. Arnel Pineda is the voice of Journey, and that is one of the songs that cements this reality into existence permanently. I call Eclipse an epic sonic journey for a reason; a song like “She’s A Mystery” makes this record anything but a nostalgic throwback release from a classic rock band; that track could have been released by any new, great band. It’s modern, but not annoyingly so. Schon’s layers and layers of acoustic and electric guitar work forms a handcrafted tapestry of sound fit for a long drive along the coast of California. This along with “Venus,” the great reprise of the end of “To Whom It May Concern,” a wonderful gift to the listener, and the avid fan of Album Oriented Rock.
  7. I thought I posted this but I can't find it, so, here it is. If this is a duplicate, feel free to let me know and delete it. Worlds Collide (2010) Unruly Child Frontiers Records Produced by: Bruce Gowdy & Guy Allison For the Genre: ****- (4/5) Compared to the Era: ***** (5/5) Summary: Artistically sophisticated, even if it is lacking in a few areas. The thing that first struck me about this record is the excellent production quality, which is something that is far from par for the course. Whether we are talking about independent releases or major RIAA productions, a clean, crisp and clear mix is not something anyone should take for granted. In particular, I was extremely happy with the drum mix, which is rare. I almost never like the drum mix, even on some of my all-time favorite albums! The good news persists with the fact that there are a number of very catchy songs like “When We Were Young,” which has a lot of attitude to get started but then takes you higher with a magical sounding chorus in the middle sections. Another winner was “When Worlds Collide,” a song with a sound that could have made it a staple on rock FM radio throughout the late 1970s and 80s. “Life Death” was one of my favorites because in spite of the kind of its dry sounding 70s-era Styx-like chorus, the main hook on that track is heavy and deep, with a groove that hits you in your stomach. I couldn’t get enough of it. “Very First Time,” to me at least, sounded like a very radio-friendly track that could have found a home on the charts in nearly any era throughout the last 40 years with a terrific vocal performance, clean and simple production, and an up-beat arrangement to match. Not every song on the album is a winner, though. For example, “Read My Mind” has an excellent beginning but goes in a direction that, to me, didn’t seem quite right. I’m sure others will disagree, finding it emotional and compelling—but it didn’t have that effect on me. Furthermore, I was also disappointed with Frontiers’ choice to go with the cardboard wrap on this record. Especially since the great Hugh Syme did the graphics art. This was one of those albums where a full jewel case with a CD booklet would have been preferred. As it stands, my recommendation stands at just buying downloads of a few of the better songs on this album.


    I already have tickets. Just gotta get a room and plane tickets... It'll be great to meet up. I'm also very interested in cross-promotion with you guys. The few of us NEW US AOR acts there are have to stick together, heh.

    W.E.T. - RISE UP

    Where are physical CDs sold in the major cities in Australia these days locally? Are there any Internet CD stores based in Australia? I'm curious because I spend a lot of time trying to understand the reach of music distributors.
  10. (Before I begin, just want to say it's good to be back. Been a way a really long time sorting out some stuff in my personal life and wrapping up some academic work. Hope to be around a lot more...) For the Genre: ***-- (3/5) Compared to the Era: ****- (4/5) Summary: A solidly produced debut release slightly suffering from a split personality. I’ll be honest. It took me a really long time to get around to this album. It took me too long to appreciate some of the things Perfect View was trying to do on this release. I did give the CD a fairly high rating due to the high quality mix, the excellent musicianship on the part of the band and that the songs were relatively catchy, but, make no mistake. This is not a record that is going to grab you by the lapels and force you to pay attention to it. Hold Your Dreams can be compelling at times, but not consistently so. The songs are sometimes ethereal and mysterious and then they can be obtuse and predictable with feigned emotion. Perhaps this is my bias shining through as I grew up in the 80s as an American in Los Angeles where bands like Motley Crue and RATT virtually invented the style; you can’t fake swag and I feel at times like some of the songs tried to do exactly that. If the the recordings and some of the songs hadn’t have been so good, the attitude coming off like a copy and not original in any way would have definitely given this a lower rating—especially on the “for the genre” category. Let me start with the matter of intensity. “A Better Place” ends up being a great song but not what I would have kicked off the album with—a kind of Journey-esque drum line and piano pattern for the intro and seems to go nowhere from there; at least, until the chorus. The chorus is Really good, and felt really well thought out. “Closer” is decent song with that AOR sound we really love as classic rock fans and I have no real complaints about this one at all, except I would have sequenced this one later on the CD also. The album seems to really find its guts with the third track, “One More Time,” The keyboard arpeggios are a bit overdone in what was supposed to be the grand, climatic moment of the solo but I feel that was its one blemish; channels a bit of Fates Warning on this one with its exquisitely executed vocals, drum pattern and Iron Maiden/Queensryche-inspired guitar line, this is one of my two favorite songs on the album. Another favorite is “Believe,” with its creative introduction and tasteful keyboard lead line, the vocals are genuine and compliment the song really well and the excellent solo section—all instruments combined—are the icing on the cake. “I Need Your Love” is my other favorite song on the album, with a nice fist pumping intro—majestic keyboard work with a great swelling start. My next favorite song cannot be found until the ninth song, the title track, “Hold Your Dreams,” which again channels more of the Fates Warning/Queensryche/Iron Maiden sound/feel that Perfect View really does pull off very well; it’s a very creative song, excellently sung and sufficiently heavy. The final track on the CD, “Where’s the Love” I would have sequenced earlier on the disc, perhaps right after “I Need Your Love”—it’s very heavy, well thought out, highly melodic and just plain sounds good. “A Reason to Fight” is a decent ballad, but I really would have made it the second to the last track on the album because it brings the energy level way, way down at its low speed tempo; it eventually becomes intense like Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing”—better in some ways, namely the solo—but still very slow. Ironically, one of my least favorite tracks is “Run,” which does not suffer from a sluggish tempo at all but the obligatory motorcycle engine revving sound effect at the beginning is pretty uninspired and contrived in my opinion, and the rest of the song just kind of powers ahead with very little thought except for some guitar parts toward the end. The downhill slide continues on “Showtime,” which tries to do what “Hold Your Dreams” did with the very creative, thoughtful instrumental portions but then switches over to an interpreted form of the glam/sleaze thing from the late 1980s. Another track like that, only worse, is “Don’t Turn Away,” trying way too hard to grab that circa 1990 RATT cheesy “swing metal” feel. The chorus is pretty good and the really good guitar work in parts keeps this song from getting eliminated from my playlist when playing back the entire album, but it was not a good sign of things to come. Another song like this one was “Speed Demon,” my least favorite song on the CD to be completely certain. This review may sound like I’ve heavily panned this release as barely worth purchasing but I cannot overemphasize the mix is beautiful and the musicianship is beautiful. This is a good sounding album to the ears, and was worth my money. I just felt like some tracks could have been left off the CD, or at a minimum, re-arranged, but this is what can happen with a self-produced album. There isn’t an industry expert hanging around saying, “hey maybe this song doesn’t need to be six and a half minutes long, eh?” That’s kind of the fun of indie rock, though. It’s a little experimental. It’s not always predictable, or at least, it shouldn’t be. But that’s why it’s a little disappointing when bands hold themselves back by being predictable. Paying homage to your heroes is admirable and one of the reasons why we all either make or love listening to Melodic Rock, and I’m definitely not one of those jerks that believe they need to “get out of the 80s sound” in order to be viable. Big drums and articulate guitars are a good thing. It’s just that we don’t have to settle for tired arrangements, contrived sound effects or fake sleaze. More songs like “Where’s the Love” and less songs like “Speed Demon” on their next album will guarantee a purchase from me.

    Chris Ousey

    This CD blew me away. I actually can't get with this guy's vox (it's an acquired taste, I guess). I'll have more to say about this album soon, though. The songs are absolutely amazing and the guitar work is some of the best I've heard in the last twenty years, easily.
  12. I couldn't make it to the June 2nd show but when they added the 9th, my wife decided to buy me tickets for my birthday. :-) They sounded good but I was cognizant of backing tracks. The "drum solo" by Alex Van Halen was pretty surreal--more backing audio and video tricks than him doing his thing, but they're in their late 50s so it's kind of a remarkable he's beating out songs like Chinatown and Hot for Teacher still. His brother Eddie sounded much better last night than he did the first time I saw him back to DLR In Los Angeles or even the time before in San Jose in 2004 with Sammy Hagar. He has hit timing, Hot for Teacher wasn't a hot, sloppy mess like it was when I saw him try to play it with DLR in '08... Wolfgang also sounded pretty good, especially on backing vocals. In fact, him and his dad were doing MOST of the singing. David Lee Roth was just screaming and talking most of the time, and the while looping the same corny 23 Skidoo dance routine. It was good to see the jumps and high kicks have yet to be retired, even at their age. They played all the hits, but also included some highly pleasurable deep cuts like "Women in Love" so "true" Van Halen fans could feel special that the band shows they still care about them. The new tracks are actually really good though, too. "Chinatown" is killer, "The Trouble with Never" is very melodic and has a great classic VH sound but I personally wished they had have played "Big River" instead of "Tattoo." Much, much better song. The crowd was largely what I expected. Life long 95.5 KLOS listeners; the motorcycle jacket 'n bandanna, tattooed goatee wearing Anglo Saxons that normally show up for a Van Halen or Motley Crue gig. There were several younger people there, too (including kids; theirs, I'm assuming). It's great to new a whole new generation of rock fans are going to learn about and appreciate great electric guitar players like Eddie. There were a few killjoys, though. Some arrests, even a couple of ambulances showed up outside. A grand ole time was had by all. ;-) For the first concert I've had the pleasure of attending in far, far too long (probably four years at least), I sure am glad this was it. The crammed quarters where my wife and I sat notwithstanding, I had a crazy good time. It's just so good to listen to Eddie play live while he's still doing it.


    I am probably going to just buy the MP3 from Amazon as oppose to getting the whole CD. I should have done that with a couple of releases I bought this year. - Dairenn

    [REVIEW]: Sign of Angels (2010) by Issa

    The second album does sound quite a bit like the first one. It is a good sounding album but compared to some of what Frontiers was releasing in 2010, it fell short for me. I guess I should be happy that someone other than Robin Beck is providing female vox on AOR releases in these times, but I can't imagine spending north of $11 on an Issa CD and for that one I paid over $17.

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.