Having a new M.I.C. (Made in China) arrive in your post is cause for some minor trepidation. My first experience with M.I.C., veteran composer, guitarist, and all around rocker Yvon Serre's classic rock band, was 2010's Out 2 Rock, an average occasion. So average I didn't bother with the next outing, 2011's Third Degree. But I'm a sucker for a second chance, and also seeing what strength it will take to keep my finger off the skip button.
Growing up in the late Sixties and early Seventies, 'Made in China,' was a derogatory description of a product. It meant that it was sub-standard, low quality, and a poor imitation of the real thing, destined for the dumpster. After reading M.I.C. as a name and then hearing the music on Out 2 Rock, at the start, this thought arose and lingered, and it still does. (Products made in China, to this day, are still of relatively poor quality.)
Fortunately, at this core, Mr. Serre knows his genre and craft; he's a fine composer and a solid traditional rock guitarist. On All 4's (whatever that alludes to) is simply Eighties (melodic) hard rock. Although, I find him hard to listen to as a singer. I can only listen to his yelps and whoops on songs for a brief time before being put off. With these outbursts in accent, his enthusiasm for his music is apparent and genuine; nevertheless, his excitement seems quizzical as his music is, as mentioned before, rather average. He likes his music, so I suppose he thinks he's really good. Perhaps, against any other English speaking classic rock band in China, which I suspect there are few, he is.
Nevertheless, and rather regardless of my opinion, Serre and M.I.C. can rock. Can't Take Anymore and Reunite are definitive. Chemicals, the lame Happy Days, contrived Cookin,' and You Tonight, by example, not so much. Horrible songs, no. Adequate or average, yes. And what's up with the credits to a female vocalist? It doesn't say she does lead or background vocals on the CD sleeve. So what is she there for? I certainly could not hear her contribution.
Considering M.I.C. and Yvon Serre's context, perhaps one of the few English speaking classic rock bands in China, they are the big fish in a small pond. I'm sure that enlivens his ego. Nevertheless, for classic Eighties melodic hard rock you could certainly do worse. In the end, I'm still ambivalent, but check them out for yourself. I suspect, like other reviewers, you'll have a different opinion.
With their fourth album, On All 4's, I'm still largely disinterested in guitarist Yvon Serre's M.I.C. pattern of adequate, enthusiastic, but uninspired, classic Eighties melodic hard rock. But you could do worse. Check it out for yourself.
A certain clarity comes with age and, if you have some proper sense, some maturity. Born out of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement in 1979, and resurrected some six years ago, UK's Salem plays classic melodic hard rock and metal ... [ Read More ]