If anything vocalist Phil Vincent is both consistent and persistent. In some twenty years the enduring musician has released 34 albums, if I counted correctly, between his solo work and the bands Tragik, Legion, Circular Logik and others. In 2015, he released six albums. Count 'em. Six. Holy crap. Now, after a momentary rest, he brings his new invention, Cranston. Named after his hometown in Rhode Island, it features songs penned with legendary musician and producer Paul Sabu, who plays all instruments, excepting drums, and produced the album.
And the consistency, or inevitability, remains, whether it's Vincent or Sabu. Neither talent ventures from the Eighties. This is basic classic melodic hard rock in an AOR wrapper. Additionally, in this case, the Cranston is sharper, a bit heavier, nearing melodic metal. But the fundamentals remain: big vocals and vocal harmonies, catchy melodies, nice hooks in the arrangements and refrains, plenty of groove and, of course, brisk guitar riffs and slick solos. All this with Vincent at the helm of the Cranston ship. Like I said, it's what Vincent and Sabu do. It's inherent, second nature as it were.
So, generally, the album rocks with a heavier groove. Unwanted, Long Long Way To Go, Fallen, and also Queen Of The Pain, with the persistent cow bell. Yeah, you read right. How Eighties is that? It's also to say there are no ballads here. The closest thing may be Sea of Madness, but it also has a deep bottom end. Actually, there isn't anything inherently tame about any song on this album. Plain and simple Cranston is melodic hard rock. And recommended.
Plain and simple Cranston, featuring Phil Vincent and Paul Sabu, is classic, even Eighties, melodic hard rock in an AOR wrapper. And recommended.
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