There is a seemingly endless stream of quality rock bands emerging from all corners of the UK, covering southern rock, classic rock, blues rock and all combinations of the above, spurred on by the success of their current mates, and of the continuing presence of their idols and heroes from the 1980s and 1990s, many of whom are still ripping it up around the pub, club and theatre circuit – Thunder; Tyketto; Gun; FM and the rest.
With influences cited as being from The Eagles to Motley Crue, with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi in the mix, and a slightly glam rock image, these guys from darkest Kent have been working tirelessly for the past 5 years, touring the UK and visiting the US to dip their toes in the water there, and continue to polish their style and the songs, until the recent release of this EP, and the single Midnight Queen, which has just been formally launched at a gig in the UK.
The opening guitars of the single are melodic and semi-acoustic rather than brutal riffs, and immediately bring to mind some of the classic AOR anthems from Nightranger, The Babys, Foreigner and REO Speedwagon, with driving bass and drums, and a tasty line in guitar licks from the awesomely named Todd Winger.
Angelo Tristan has the hair and the voice to go with it, and the ballad Going With The Wind provides a terrific showcase for this, as the verse hints of the likes of Scandinavian melodic rockers Reckless Love or Eclipse, with some wonderful harmonies in the chorus, supported by a huge production from Sean Kenny – this is stadium melodic rock of the quality of Bad English, delivered with a modern British edge as with the likes of New Device, Vega or Night By Night.
Just Waiting For You opens up in the same vein with a clean picked guitar melody, before the chorus kicks in, and the riff powers up a couple of notches, and Angelo’s voice opens up to match the increase in power and intensity. The rhythm section of Jakki Dimazio on bass and Ben Atkinson on the drums then lights up for the second half of the song done in double-time, with a scintillating solo from Todd.
There is a swagger to the opening riff of Angel’s Crying which sets up the more stripped back opening verse with Angelo breathing the lyrics over the acoustic guitar, but you just know this one is going to explode, and the soaring voices of the pre-chorus do not leave you wondering, and the guitar gets heavier as the song progresses through the solo and the middle-eight, to the inevitable AOR key-change.
The chorus is just breathtaking, and the purity of the guitar breaks shines through the backing and complements the voices perfectly, and there is a lot of background vocals happening underneath the melody which just adds to the overall feel of the song.