As to the history of Jacksonville's China Sky, it's an ugly story, but not an uncommon one in the music industry. Band works hard and plays hard. Demos are created and pitched to unsuspecting labels. Interest is fleeting and rejection ensues. Then in a glimmer of hope, a major label takes interest, and China Sky records their debut. Airplay follows and interest begins to swell. Then the shit hits the fan. Label and management drop the ball with little to no support, including tour appearances. The band sinks and dissolves, another victim to the prostitution that is the music biz. But don't feel sorry for China Sky, they may finally be getting their revenge.
By the interest of many fans of the band and classic rock in general, that first album was a cult classic. And songs began to resurface on the Internet. Original members, vocalist Ron Perry and bassist Richard Smith, are a bit mystified by the interest, but take to writing once again. Behold, another label takes interest in UK's Escape Music, and China Sky's II emerges.
It makes sense really. The tunes within this album will find a home in England, most of Europe, and probably Japan. America? Not so much. Cripes, people here think Taylor Swift is the shit. But I digress. With these songs, China Sky didn't try to reinvent themselves. Nope. This is deja vu all over again. They're writing and playing songs like it's 1988. (which is probably one reason why there will be no interest in the States.) Being classic rock, they've got the groove, harmony, and melody to their songs as it should be. Lyrically, the songs sway with catchy refrains. Perry has one of those slightly gruff voices, yet still melodic. Keyboards offer the necessary ambience similar to their original sound. And guitar solos are abundant and soaring.
Hey, it's okay to party like it's 1988, especially when you write songs of this caliber. But therein lies the trouble. This stuff sounds old. Don't get me wrong, it's well-crafted and solid material. It just sounds dated. But I liked it enough to recommend it to their fans and those who love that Eighties classic rock era. Favorite cuts: The Road Not Taken, I Believe In You, and You'll Get Yours. Did I mention they do a cover of Molly Hatchet's Dreams I'll Never See? It's torturous. Don't even bother.
With II, cult American melodic rock band China Sky might see a resurrection of interest in their music, and so skewer those parties who tanked the band so many years ago. Revenge is best served by a new album of classic rock.
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