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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Fair Warning

Talking Ain’t Enough

Review by Gary Hill

It amazes me that this band is virtually unknown in the United States. Their brand of hard rocking melodic music is so catchy that you’ll think you know every single song. Yet, you don’t. This live album is a three CD set (and an accompaniment to the DVD reviewed in the last issue of Music Street Journal). The first two discs are from a Tokyo show from 2010 and the final disc is a show from the year before. All this music is great and comparisons at times to Bon Jovi are appropriate. At other points it’s similar to Scorpions. Whatever you compare it to, though, it is catchy, straightforward rock that’s not overly original, but is incredibly strong. Note that, because all the songs on the third disc were reviewed (in a different but similar live performance) on the first and second disc, I’ve broken tradition and simply referred to those reviews on that set.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Intro

This consists of some introductory music mixed with audience stomping, clapping and chanting.

Out On The Run
They bring things in with a smoking hot melodic hard rocker that’s incredibly catchy. There are parts of this that seem almost like James Bond music. It’s a killer cut and a great way to start things off in style. There is some smoking hot guitar soloing on this piece.
Here Comes The Heartache
This is closer to a 1980s heavy metal number. It’s catchy and quite tasty. It’s not all that original, but it’s just plain quality. There is some complex and especially potent guitar soloing on this piece.
Save Me
Listening to this catchy rocker, you really have to wonder how those of us in America haven’t really heard of this band. The closest comparison would be Bon Jovi, but that only comes so close. Whatever you call it, though, it’s a catchy and very powerful piece of music.
Angels Of Heaven
This is a little meatier piece of music. If you want to line it up as sounding like another band, Scorpions would be a close fit, but the soaring guitar solo is far more complex than that comparison would indicate. It’s a strong and epic sort of composition.
Don't Give Up
Some of this isn’t all that different from the previous cut, but there’s a more dramatic mainstream rock section mid-track. Besides, while this is similar to the previous number, it doesn’t mean that it feels repetitive or loses any of its strength. This band is so good that everything they do sounds fresh, even when it’s got no real new territory built into it.
Sakura/Kashmir
The “Sakura” portion of this is an instrumental with an Asian sound to it. It gives way to a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” done as an instrumental with the guitar soloing the vocal parts. It’s a killer piece of music and a great twist on an old favorite.
Generation Jedi
This seems to rock out a bit more and fits closer into a real heavy metal category. It is again very much like something you might hear from Scorpions. It’s another killer tune. There is a cool spoken bridge later that reminds me a bit of something Queensryche might do.
Don't Keep Me Waiting
Another cut that’s rife with hooks and killer metallic melody, this is yet one more winner in the set. This band is just amazing. There’s a killer keyboard solo mid-track followed by an equally cool guitar solo. They also include a singalong section in this one, too. All these varying factors turn this into a nine-minute plus number.
The Last Goodbye (Keyboard Future)
As the title suggests, this is a keyboard solo and it is quite proggy.
Falling Reprise
More of a balladic number, this still gets powered up. More than anything else, it resembles some of the more melodic crunchy modern progressive rock. It’s a good tune and a nice change of pace. It’s actually pretty involved and includes a number of changes and alterations.
Long Gone
This starts with a balladic approach, but powers up after the first verse. It’s another that calls to mind Bon Jovi quite a bit. There are also traces of Scorpions, though. It gets pretty involved and there are some intriguing changes.      
Hey Girl
Far more of a straightahead AOR rocker, there is still some metal in the mix here. It’s another potent tune from a band that can do nothing but killer songs.
Disc 2
Walking On Smiles
No big surprises, this is another hard rocking and catchy AOR tune. It’s strong and doesn’t seem redundant despite the lack of big changes.
I'll Be There
Another straight ahead rocker, this has a bit of a different texture than some of the other music. It’s no less catchy, though, and no less potent.
Longing For Love
Although there’s a metal edge to this, and at times it seems similar to Scorpions, overall it’s closer to some of the catchy hard rock that came out in the 1970s.
I Fight
With a track entitled “I Fight” you might expect a metal cut. It really isn’t, though. I’d consider this closer to a harder edged version of Asia.
Still I Believe
A poignant ballad, in some ways this is a little over the top. In fact, if there is a track that isn’t all that great here, this is it. That said, when it turns out to the soaring, harder rocking movement, any sense of failure present in the balladic motif is wiped clean.
Burning Heart
More of a screamer, this is catchy, meaty and quite cool.
Get A Little Closer
Another high energy rocker, the comparisons to Scorpions show up here, but this is less metal and, at times even a little proggy. In fact, there are a few segments later in the piece that turn very prog-like. When they pull it out into a reprise, though, it’s more metallic.
When Love Fails
Another hard rocking accessible tune, it’s another strong one.
Fighting For Your Love
A more metallic one, this is a bit of a screamer. It has some definite references to Scorpions.
Disc 3
Intro
The intro piece here is more dramatic than the intro on the first disc.
Angels Of Heaven
See earlier review.
Save Me
See earlier review.
Generation Jedi
See earlier review.
Out On The Run
See earlier review.
Here Comes the Heartache
See earlier review.
Long Gone
See earlier review.
Longing For Love
See earlier review.
I Fight
See earlier review.
Don't Give Up
See earlier review.
Burning Heart
See earlier review.
Get A Little Closer

See earlier review.

When Love Fails
See earlier review.
 
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