Sunday, July 5, 2015

Fourplay : Dimino , Kelly Keeling , The V , Yes

DiMino - Old habits die hard (2015) Living like an angel
Pomprock band Angel had their peak in the 70´s and were labelmates with Kiss on Casablanca Records, Angel´s last studio album "In the beginning" was released in 1999 but the band continued to perform live with different line up´s.
Frontman Frank DiMino did one more record with Paul Raymond Project and the 1989 album "Under the rising sun" but here he is with his solo project DiMino, it´s about time he shares his precious gift of singing to the world.
"Old habits die hard" is produced by Paul Crook (Meat Loaf) who also handles the bass, this is a timeless hard rock album that sounds like UFO meets Uriah Heep spiced with 10% Angel.
The song "Even now" is co-written with former Angel member Barry Brandt and it´s also one of the best tracks along with "I can´t stop loving you" and "Never again".
On guitars we find names like Oz Fox (Stryper), Rick Medlocke (Blackfoot), Punky Meadows (Angel), Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister) and Pat Thrall (Hughes and Thrall).
The vocalperformance from DiMino is top notch!

Kelly Keeling - Mind radio (2015) Second solo offering from the red zone rider
He´s got a voice for bluesy hard rock but that doesn´t stop Kelly Keeling from singing on a pure AOR record, producer/keyboardist/songwriter Alessandro Del Vecchio put together a team of musicians for Keeling and his new solo album "Mind radio".
It has already been ten years since Keeling´s first solo album "Giving sight to the eye" (2005), an artist mostly known for his work in Baton Rouge, Heaven and Earth, Carmine Appice´s Guitar Zeus and Red Zone Rider.
"Mind radio" will appeal to fans of British AOR and bands like Newman, Heartland and After Hours but it wouldn´t hurt if Del Vecchio and Keeling would dare to step away from the formula of how to write an AOR song with every cliche´ ever made.
How do you like your AOR? Rare, medium or well done? I´m afraid this one´s only medium.

The V - Now or never (2015) Not a metal queen nor a rock goddess but more a princess of the night
"Now or never" is Veronica Freeman´s first solo release, soundwise not that far from her band Benedictum. Well, the music is more melodic hard rock than the heavy metal of her albums with Benedictum. I don´t mind it though, on the contrary, I welcome this album.
The album is produced by John Herrera, Michael Sweet (Stryper) and Kenny Lewis, and there are plenty of famous names showing up on the album as Jeff Pilson - Bass (Foreigner), Mike Lepond - Bass (Symphony X), Michael Sweet - Guitars (Stryper) and Tony Martin - Duet vocals on the track "King for a day".
It´s a good album that stands with both feet in the 80´s, too bad the artwork sucks big time because the songs are really enjoyable. They should´ve gone for another picture instead of this cheap photo shop-like album cover.
Highlights : "L.O.V.E", "King for a day", "Starshine".
For fans of Lee Aaron, Headpins, Lita Ford.

Yes - Like it is, Yes at the Mesa Arts Center (2015) In remembrance of a true squire
Co-founder and Yes bassist Chris Squire passed away last weekend at the age of 67, this review should be about his importance to the band and the progrock genre in general. His significant bassplaying and unique voice that truly must be considered one of the cornerstones of this band´s sound. Not to mention Squire´s impressive list of songwriting credits. A fortune in gold.
He is now a fish out of water. R.I.P.
So let´s go over to their new live album that was recorded in Mesa, Arizona on August 12th, 2014.
Where the band performed the two albums "Fragile" from 1971 and "Close to the edge" from 1972.
Not long ago, Yes and Frontiers Records released a live album with the two albums "The Yes Album" and "Going for the one" performed in their entirety.
Since I thought that one was amazing, I was hoping for another mighty fine live album but "Like it is, Yes at the Mesa Arts Center" doesn´t reach the same heights.
Don´t misunderstand me here, it´s still good and there are some truly great versions like for example "South side of the sky" and "Roundabout".
But the band sounded more alive and kicking on "Like it is, at the Bristol Hippodrome". And why the use of vocals on backing tracks on the track "We have heaven"?
Where do they go from here...............will Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman return for a tribute tour?

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