Reviews August/00

Melodica / Long Way from Home / Frontiers CD 057


Melodica - Ted Poley and Gerhard Pichler in a happy union! Tracklisting:It's not enough; Never let you go; Come runnin'; Best Friend; Hardest part of Love; Forget about you; Playing with Fire; Long Way from Home; Sleeping with the Enemy; Take me away; A long Time ago.

After a time of silence vocalist extra-ordinaire Ted Poley is back in business. This time with Austrian born guitarist Gerhard Pichler in the band Melodica.
Mr. Poley has always been my favorite in Danger Danger and even before that Prophet had their charm primary through Poley's vocal abillities.
Mr. Pichler is to me an unknown character - but according to the press-info he has been working as an engineer for people like Tangerine Dreams, and that made him contacts with the likes of Peter Wolf and Andy Johns, before Pichler moved to USA to take a job as the head instructor at the SAE NYC - which is the worlds largest recording school.
The album "Long Way from Home" is recorded in Vienna and New York and the studioline up sees Pichler handling all guitar parts with Willie Horwath on drums and Michael Wassermann on keyboards - but also guest appearence by Charlie Calv from Shotgun Symphony on keyboards, Joe Slattery and Marty Brassington from Norway on bass and drums.
Pichler and Poley has produces this effort themselves - and it could se a bit more tight - but what it lacks in production it sure has it all in enthusiasm and passion. And the musical qualities of both frontmen are indisputable. Poley's crystal clear and high pithched vocals, which I havent heard better since Danger Danger's "Screw It", goes very well with Pichler's tight guitar playing.
There are numerous tracks that immediatly goes in your mind - all very catchy from the very first stroke - but my favourites are "It's not enough", "Hardest part of Love" and the title track "Long Way from Home". Those are all pure AOR in the vein of Journey, Giant and Norway.
Melodica is an ongoing project and work hs already begun on the follow-up album, set for a release in 2001. Half the album has already been written and recording has begun with Jonathan Mover on drums who had been working with guys like Joe Satriani, Alice Cooper and Joe Lynn Turner. So the future looks bright for this duo - the release is a must for every Ted Poley fan.

Angry Tears / Angry Tears / Escape Music ESMO55


Angry Tears - Jack Ponti on guitars and Joey Sinopoli on vocals Tracklisting:Go easy on Me; Keep tonite; Telephone Line; Damiana; Angry Tears; Love Fades; Dianna; Eyes; Not Supposed to fall in Love; Other Side of the Night.

I am a bit surprised on this one. The band featuring producer/guitarist/manager Jack Ponti I presumed would play safe, sound and secure and therefore release a record in the classic arena rock vein... NOT!
Angry Tears is a unique blend of Pontis melodic riffs and solos and Joey Sinopolis powerful though mellow voice well produced in a tight tone and attitude that allows the true rock'n roll to breath.
On the record Mr. Ponti and Sinopoli are joined by Nicky Sinopoli on bass and Andres Karu on drums who also co-produced the album. And it seems like a very tight band - Ponti/Sinopoli wrote one song "Love fades away" track #6 back in the mid 80's when Ponti had a band called The Rest (featuring a boy called Jon Bongiovi) and The Sinopoli brothers had an outfit in a Jersey shore band called The Imports.
The other tracks are all written by Ponti/Sinopoli/Sinopoli except for a few tracks like "Dianna" written in cooperation with Richard Black and "Keep Tonite" co-writtten with Russel Arcara. And all tracks has its own identity with a strong focus on Pontis melodic and special guitar style, but Joey Sinopolis mellow and soulfull voice shure has a story on its own - it seems like a mix of Paul Laine and Paul Stanley, strong and with an important and reliable story to tell!
My favourite tracks are the slow but powerful "Dianna", the grungy "Eyes" and of course the melodic and rocky "Keep Tonite" - but also the grand opener "Go easy on me" is worth the try! But to me "Not suppossed to fall in love" represents all of the attitude of this fantastic band.
If you only will buy 10 record this year be sure that Angry Tears is one of them - every fan of hard rock with an attitude will not be disappointed on this one - great!
Read the interview with lead singer Joey Sinopoli here.
The bands email is:

Emerald Rain / Live 2K / FR CD 056


Emerald Rain - Alive & Kickin' Tracklisting:Never Surrender; Desperate Heart, Heart on the Line; Your Disguise; Age of Innocence; Come Clean; High Road to Nowhere; Broken Saviours; Endless Grey; Don't tell the Rain; Dungeon Drums (solo); Misery Loves Company; Take a Stand; No saviour; Take a Stand - studio version.

This album where recorded live on location at The Dungeon in Oshawa not, very far from the bands hometown in Canada. The band decided that they would please some of their fans in Japan and in Europe - because Emerald Rain hasn't been able to show their live abillities, yet.
Although this release is good - it isn't the "real thing", but if they play this good every time they give a show I hope they soon will visit Europe! The sound, attitude and performance are all very good. The line up is as always Murray Daigle on vocals & guitar, Milan "Mike" Dmitrovic on guitar, Sean Gregory on bass and Kyle Lazenka on drums.
"Live 2K" features 14 song from their previous 2 albums called "Broken Saviours" and "Age of Innocence". As a special bonus Emerald Rain has put the original studio version of "Take a stand", which was previously only available on the Japanese release of "Age of Innocence".
I like these live CD's where you can hear the band RAW - with all the small itches, scratches and errors they will make during the 1-2 hour of concert. This CD is very much in that vein - the band play hard melodic rock with lot of big attitudes and they got the musical abillities to back this attitude up, and they play like they mean it. Guitarist Milan Dmitrovic really kicks a** with his lightning solos and solid rhythm play. I absolutely adore the whole band effort on a track like "Broken Saviours". The melody is good and catchy but besides that the choir work, singing and guitars are outstanding - and the audience are wired for sound!
There are a lot of good tracks on this one - I mean, they have only made two albums, so take the best part of tracks on those and you'll have a succes. Emerald Rain plays like they meen business - and I like tracks like "Don't tell the Rain", "Age of Innocence" and the studio track "Take a Stand" is not bad at all.
I sure hope that Emerald Rain will pay Europe a visit - and the rest of the world too, of course. Because they have a lot qualities to offer. The band is currently rehearsing with a view to tour Europe/Japan later this year - and their third release is set for early 2001 - so, we'll just have to wait and see.

Steen Peitersen 2000