Considering his lengthy experience as a musician, it's hard to believe that Reuben Archer, vocalist for UK hard rock legends Stampede, never considered a solo project. But he admits he didn't, at least not until prompted by new Stampede guitarist Rob Wolverson. It seems he got his degree in sound engineering and was itching to exercise his production skills. Archer had some songs kicking around, so the pair made a good fit.
The result is Reuben Archer's Personal Sin, a collection of 13 mighty fine melodic hard rock songs. To get the big melodic sound he wanted, Archer invited some very talented friends to help him. These include notable heavyweights like Dave Meniketti (Y&T), John ‘Rhino’ Edwards (Status Quo), Neil Murray (Whitesnake, Gary Moore, Coliseum 2, Snakecharmer), Paul Raymond (UFO, PRP), among others. (You can see the complete line up on his website.)
Between the two of them, Archer and Wolverson have some talent creating good melodic rock tunes. Actually, I might suggest there's not a single dull song on this entire album. You've got some real catchy numbers, loaded with groove and melody, in Bulletproof, Play My Rock N Roll, Personal Sin, TV Junkie, and the delightful Spanish Nights. Archer can get a bit heavier on Shakin' All Over, a song with a wall of riffs and some ripping guitar solos. Sooner or Later pieces together some of that same heaviness with speed for a sound nearing heavy metal.
But then Archer can reach for the blues, the soul of rock n roll, with Reuben's Blues, Lately, and the slow burning ballad Time On My Hands. Possibly the most interesting song here is Like A Clown. It rises up, briefly,like a typical hard rock song at the start, only to turn to something slower and smoother with acoustic guitar in the first half and then in the second half, a mellow piano segue with a light vocal arrangement. It's easily one of the top songs here.
With little doubt, Reuben Archer's Personal Sin is fine accomplishment for the artist, simply well-crafted and entertaining melodic hard rock, and Reuben Archer, as a vocalist, has never sounded better. While this is hardly a negative, I just wonder if Archer shouldn't have trimmed off a few songs for his next solo album. We should all look forward to that. Easily recommended.
With little doubt, Reuben Archer's Personal Sin is fine accomplishment for the artist, simply well-crafted and entertaining melodic hard rock, and Reuben Archer, as a vocalist, has never sounded better. Easily recommended.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]