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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Gunhill

Nightheat / One Over the Eight

Review by Gary Hill

Gunhill was a band that featured John Lawton as the lead singer. They released two albums in the 1990s. Both of those albums are included here. They have a solid hard rock sound. The discs feature a nice balance of original and cover songs. John Lawton is arguably best known for his time as the singer of Uriah Heep, so it should be no surprise that a lot of the time this calls to mind that band.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Disc 1: Nightheat

                  
Don't Stop Believing

The opening section of this includes keyboards with spoken words. After that movement, we're taken into a straight ahead rocking kind of jam. The chorus hook is very catchy in an AOR rock mode.

Ready for Love
A song originally done by Bad Company, I like this version much better. It's not a huge difference. It's just incredibly well done.
Wall of Silence
More like a power ballad, this is another song that makes me think of Bad Company in some ways. It's perhaps closer to what you'd expect from Uriah Heep, though.
Nobody Loves You the Way I Do
Here they cover Melissa Etheridge. They put in a great version, too. It's a killer bluesy rocker.
Far from Home
This balladic number is so cool. I love the molodies and the performance. It has some definite blues in the mix.
Eleanor Rigby
I've always loved the original of this song. This version almost feels to me a bit like the way the Rage For Order era of Queensryche  would do the song along with some Uriah Heep thrown into the mix. I really like this rendition a lot. There is definitely a metallic edge to it.
Don't Look Back
Now, this cut really does feel like something that Uriah Heep would have done. The chorus is very catchy.
Waiting for the Heartache
Another accessible rock ballad type of number, this is catchy. It's very classic and timeless in nature.
When a Man Loves a Woman
Here they cover this classic cut. I like this version. It's a balladic approach that makes up the heart of this. It's really some great blue-eyed soul here. This rocks out more as it works toward the powerful closing.
Any Day Now
Energized rocking sound is the idea here. This is a classy tune that works really well. The chorus is really catchy and some of the bass work gets a bit funky. There is some crunch guitar soloing in the tune.
Clearwater Highway
The opening of this makes me think of the band Boston, but the song proper is closer to 80s metallic sounds. I dig the expressive guitar soloing on this song a lot.
Bonus Tracks
                    

Sympathy

 Heading into Uriah Heep territory, keyboards open this, but then guitar really sings. The cut works from there to a power ballad styled arrangement.

Come Back to Me

Another Uriah Heep song, this is more of a straight rocker here. It's a classy tune, and a great closer.

Disc 2: One Over the Eight
             

Walking in the Shadow of the Blues

This screaming hot tune is part heavy metal and part something like Uriah Heep. It's a solid rocker for sure.

Eleanor Rigby
Here is a completely different version of the song we heard on the first disc. This comes in with a keyboard based, proggy arrangement. It works out beyond that for the second movement to an almost heavy metal sound. As much as I liked the version on the other disc, I think this one is even stronger.
Ain't No Sunshine
I've always been a big fan of this song. I really love this version of it, too. It's so strong. It has the grear bluesy pain of the original, but also bring it into some more modern hard rocking territory.
Can't Get Enough

There is definitely a lot of heavy metal built into this number. It's more of an 80s metal kind of thing.

Better By You Better Than Me
This cut was originally done by Spooky Tooth. It was covered by Judas Priest. This version seems to land somewhere in between those two sounds. It only works so well for me.
Stone Cold
This Rainbow song gets reworked as something that makes me think of Uriah Heep.
Every Little Bit Hurts
A piano and vocal based ballad, this is a classy tune. There is some screaming blues rock guitar that takes command for a time later. This is soulful and tasty.
Angel
This is another classy tune with a real 80s rocking sound built into it. When it goes into the almost proggy movement later the Uriah Heep stylings are laced all over this.
Harlem Shuffle
This one doesn't really work all that well for me. It's just kind of non-descript pop music.
Soldier of Love
Another hard rocker, this works better.
Bonus Track
              
River of Dreams
This has a cool, but rather dated rock sound to it.
 
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