The history of Beggars & Thieves goes back to the late Eighties, when formed by vocalist Louie Merlino and guitarist Ronnie Mancuso in New York City. Their self-titled debut was released in 1989 to good reviews. Label problems and the rise of grunge stifled their sophomore effort Look What You Create, and the band dissolved. But this didn't stop their involvement in the music business nor the possibility of a resurrection of Beggars & Thieves. This came at Firefest 2010 to everyone's surprise. Now signed to Frontiers, B&T returns with We Are the Brokenhearted.
Above, Ronnie Mancuso and Louie Merlino begging and thieving.
Merlino and Mancuso have lost nothing in twenty years. Merlino offers strong and focused vocals, and Mancuso, exceptional guitar work. We Are the Brokenhearted is an entertaining platter of well-crafted AOR melodic rock, reflecting as much strong composition and musicianship, as emotion. While that latter element flows throughout, it pervades songs like the heartfelt and soaring Wash Away and the epic and stirring Oil & Water.
But there's also some keen rock tunes on this album. Innocence and Seven Seconds offer more edge. Then We Come Undone and Midnight Blue have a more a determined delivery, a deeper groove in, at times, a warm heaviness. Lighter fare, nearing ballad quality, comes on Never Gonna See You Again and melodic rock on Stranded.
Beggars & Thieves return on We Are the Brokenhearted finds principals guitarist Ronnie Mancuso and vocalist Louie Merlino in fine form. The album offers a mature, but also fresh, take on classic AOR melodic rock. Recommended.
Beggars & Thieves return on We Are the Brokenhearted finds principals guitarist Ronnie Mancuso and vocalist Louie Merlino in fine form. The album offers a mature, but also fresh, take on classic AOR melodic rock.