A ghost from the classic rock age of the late Eighties has come back to haunt us. With fuzzy clarity I have some recollection of England's Walk On Fire. Formed in 1987 by vocalist Alan King and keyboard player and main composer David Cairns, the band dropped one album Blind Faith in 1989 for MCA. It got some decent press from both sides of the Atlantic, and yielded two slight singles, Blind Faith and Wastelands. Additionally, Walk On Fire had the opportunity to tour with some heavyweights of the day including Foreigner, The Dan Reed Network, and Nils Lofgren. While all this is significant, for the MCA Walk On Fire was not successful and so not profitable enough. The label dropped them.
Nevertheless, the King and Cairns huddled with band members and kept recording songs. But in the wake of Grunge, another album was never released. Now, some 25 years on, Escape Music has discovered these 24 track analog recordings and delivers Walk On Fire's long belated second album, Mind Over Matter.
Listening to the album will give some listeners more than a little deja vu. Walk On Fire's music has all classic elements that make for classic Eighties AOR melodic rock. Things like an abundance of harmony, melody, and groove whether by the vocal arrangements, guitar lines, or steady rhythm section. Being composed by keyboard player, there are notable piano and synth for atmospheric coloring or flairing intros and solos. Even so, I was impressed by the strength and prominence of the guitar lines within most every song. Mike Casswell was (he died in a swimming accident in 2016) a fine guitarist, and flashy solos are abundant here. Alan King is a fine vocalist with an assertive, yet clean and melodic presentation. Finally, and actually probably the first thing I noticed, the old school analog recording gives all the song a very warm feeling, while at the same time delivering crispness and clarity.
Musically, the songs offer a variety tone and timbre. Songs such as Mind Over Matter, Big Gun, and especially Bad Attitude and Save Your Lies can have a heavier feel thanks to sharper riffs and, in the case of the latter two song, a heavier bottom end. Alternatively, some songs sway more to the moderate AOR side, even offering a timbre of the West Coast sound. Notable are The Price Of Love, Pleasure Of Pain, and the very fine Long Live Love, which has a fine groove from a tasty bass line and a chorus to die for.
Whether by fate or providence, the musical muses have allowed Walk On Fire's long lost, but not forgotten, last recordings to be found. Mind Over matter is a fine and entertaining collection of classic Eighties UK AOR melodic rock. Put this album on your short list for the your next visit to your local record store. Recommended.
Whether by fate or providence, the musical muses have allowed Walk On Fire's long lost, but not forgotten, last recordings to be found. Mind Over matter is a fine and entertaining collection of classic Eighties UK AOR melodic rock.
Missing in action for nearly six years has been Labyrinth, one of Italy's seminal and leading progressive power metal bands. Yet, the musical muses at Frontiers Music were able to persuade founding members ... [ Read More ]