It may be a stretch for some folks to remember. But there once was this glam rock band called Angel, back in the late Seventies. Big hair. Pure white satin(?) bell-bottom jump suits. A very androgynous look. Is it coming back to you? Yeah, you're thinking, "Sweet baby Jesus! Please. No. No!" They weren't very good, even though they were "discovered" by Gene Simmons, yeah, that Gene Simmons. I had all their albums. I kept buying the next album. I guess I felt sorry for them or just thought they would get better if people kept buying their albums. Seems we were only encouraging their mediocrity.
Now jet your DeLorean time machine coupe back to 2015 and catch up with Frank Dimino. Who's that, you say? Yeah, my recollection was fuzzy, too. He was the lead singer for Angel. Now wait. Don't duck and run quite yet. His new and first solo album for Frontiers Music, Old Habits Die Hard is pretty darn good. And Dimino still has the vocal chops, probably singing better now than in the Angel past. Yeah. I know. Who'd believe it? He's got some talented folk helping him along as well. Dig these players: Oz Fox (Stryper), Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister), Rickey Medlocke (Blackfoot, Lynyrd Skynyrd), and former Angel dudes Punky Meadows (sans the big hair) and Barry Brandt.
Even better, Dimino's tunes don't sound anything like Angel. This is straight up melodic hard rock, sometimes with a metal edge, and rather catchy at that. Some songs like Rockin' In The City, The Quest, and Mad As Hell rock out with sharp riffs and a swift groove, grabbing you with a memorable refrain and some soaring guitar leads. For a good sample of his current vocal prowess, Dimino sounds both strong and soulful within I Can't Stop Loving You. Another is Tears Will Fall, a churning groove monster with massive riffs and Dimino soaring once more, never to be held back. Arranged and played another way, it could have been a blues song. And that may be the subtle feeling underneath Stones By The River, maybe even some country blues when you hear the timbre of the guitars at the start, steel twisted with dobro. All this makes you wonder why haven't heard from Dimino in all these years. Bottom line: he's in fine vocal form, stronger than ever, and delivers with an album of fine melodic hard rock. Recommended.
Frank Dimino is in fine vocal form, stronger than ever, and delivers with an album of fine melodic hard rock. Recommended.
Bay Area band Space Vacation takes me back to the "golden era" of traditional heavy metal, where it all began. It was the glory days of tape trading, mimeograph fan-zines, and cut off denim jackets ... [ Read More ]