Was the providential meeting over an English pint in a small pub? Perhaps, and I'm for this, the rendezvous was contemplated with a fine single malt Scotch whiskey, preferably The Glenlivet. No matter. Escape Music head guru and provocateur Khalil Turk arranged a meeting between musicians and vocalist Nigel Bailey (Three Lions, Bailey) and Lee Small (Shy, Phenomena). And then Turk said, "Well, shit, maybe you two blokes should cut an album, maybe sing together. What say you?
Here then is Lifeline, the collaboration of Bailey and Small for their debut album Scream. They're joined by some more UK rock gents: Paul Hume (Demon, Lawless) as producer and guitarist, Steve Clarkson on drums, and Andy Bailey (Three Lions, Bailey) with keyboards. Basically, Scream is a hard hitting album of classic melodic hard rock, steeped more than a little in a brew of melodic metal, and then served in a cup of AOR accessibility. Actually, I'm wondering if some of the inherent heaviness of this album didn't come from Hume's heavy metal side, the Demon side, as this album has the punch and weight of the same, notably in his guitar riffs and leads. But, hey, it's all good. Who doesn't dig large guitars and burning leads. Unless, of course, you're some kind of hard rock heavy metal pussy. Dark Skies, Nightmare Dream, Fear No More, and Destination Freedom definitely display the metal edge, the latter even reminding of some power metal with its brisk pace.
Alternatively, the flow of AOR accessibility, and even moderation, appears in several songs. Notable is Feels Like Love, where we get the first larger definition of the Bailey/Small vocal duet in a very persuasive arrangement. Another song is Now His Angels Gone, a lighter, symphonic number, in a ballad context with, again, those harmonious vocals leading the way. Then, even with some milder heaviness, a song like Danger In The Sky captures your ear in many ways: the melody, the hook in the chorus, the continuous lead guitar surging and soaring throughout. On a more humorous aside, do you remember from Eighties melodic hard rock how band's wrote a song with the title simply a gal's name. Yup. It's deja vu all over again, with Mary Jane. Thankfully, it's not too corny, but has a nice melody and more terrific vocals and guitar. Fundamentally, Lifeline is the proverbial match made in melodic hard rock nirvana: solid tunes delivered by exceptional players, lead by some marvelous vocalist. Definite ear candy that rocks pretty heavy. Easily recommended.
Fundamentally, Lifeline is the proverbial match made in melodic hard rock nirvana: solid tunes delivered by exceptional players, lead by some marvelous vocalist. Definite ear candy that rocks pretty heavy. Easily recommended.
In the early Eighties, one of the first American metal bands that caught my interest was New York's Riot, founded by guitarist Mark Reale (1955-2012). Albums like Narita and Fire Down Under were classics of ... [ Read More ]