Reviews January/03

Sinopoli / The Eyes never lie / GR 005-2


Sinopoli - retro heavy rock!! Tracklisting:When I get Home; It's too late; Be my Lover; Got me going; Tell it to me Baby; Let's get the Party started; Moonage Daydream; No more; American Dream; I like it; Love on the Terrace; Sunrise.

Sinopoli is a quartet fronted by the two Sinopoli brothers guitarist/vocalist Joey and bass player Nicky - Joey known from his work in the band Angry Tears with Jack Ponti. They are joined by Kevin Meyer on drums and Bobby O'Connell on lead guitar.
The album "The Eyes never lie" is very retro-perspective in its expression - it's a hommage and a celebration to the positive happy-go-lucky metal in the glorious 80's. Im' thrilled from the first stroke of track #1 "When I get home", it sound like the Sinopoli's sat down with Paul Stanley to re-invent "Heavens On Fire" - very great and powerful!
The album has a lot of guest stars on the cast list among others producers Eddie kramer, John Regan and Jack Ponti who also plays some additional guitar.
It is hard to pick some favorites on the album - it is filled with good high class performed well produced tracks like "When I get home", the grand "Be my lover" the hook based "Got me going" and/or the old Bowie track "Moonage Daydream" the funny Ponti produced "Love on the Terrace" or the spheric "Sunrise"!
So if you miss the good old hard rock from the 80's this is definitely an album to hunt down at a record store near you!

Wild Frontier / Stick your Neck out / Prime 44060


Wild Frontier - a mighty record!! Tracklisting:Wild Wind blows; Alive; There for you; Shake your Body; Walkaway; Save me; I can hear you; Hard to control; Life has just begun; Next to you; Through your Eyes; We will be one.

Wild Frontier is a german foursome featuring the talents of founding member Jens Walkenhorst on vocals/guitar, Mario Erdmann on bass, Jörg Schmeck on drums (new man behind the skins) and Thomas Vitt on guitar/vocals. The band had their album debut back in 1996 with the maxi CD called "I give you all my love" and and shortly after their first full length album called "One way to heaven" and later they released the good "Thousand Miles away" which were in the more Gary Moore/Thin Lizzy/Ten kind of vein - but "Stick your Neck out" is an absolute HAMMER! The year 2003 starts out in good shape.
Wild Frontier starts out in a "classic" European way of performing melodic hard rock. Driving hook based melodies with a powerful rhythm base and a world class vocalist - add virtous guitar soloes and screaming chorusses and you'll have a 100% classy melodic album. At this moment it is very hard to me to pick some outstanding tracks - the album is spinning on "repeat" in my CD player - but if i have to pick one it has to be the energetic "Save me" with a very catchy melody line and a powerful chorus. But also the more slow track "I can hear you" is an absolute classic with a John Sykes-like solo !!! - if it was released in the mid 80's it would on every radios top 10! And "Hard to control" is a melodic masterpiece in spe - and the easy sing-along tune "Life has just begun" is very hard to get out my head.
It is hard to hide my enthusiasm towards this release - Wild Frontier is my favorite German band at the moment, and think of the class melodic acts they already have/had like Fair Warning, Bonfire, Jaded Heart and Soul Doctor. I will hope the rest of the world will get the oppotunity to listen to this splendid record. The album is produced by Bob Jensen and is distributed through Point Music.

Kansas / Device-Voice-Drum / SPV 089-71492


Kansas live from Atlanta - impressive! Tracklisting CD1:Intro; Belexes; Icarus II; Icarus; Song for America; Howlin' at the Moon; The Wall; The Preacher; Journey from Mariabronn; Dust in the Wind; Cheyenne Anthem; Child of Innocence.
Tracklisting CD2:Miracles out of Nowhere; Point of Know Return; Portrait/Pinnacle; Fight Fire with Fire; Play the Game tonight; Carry on Wayward Son.

Kansas has recorded this outstanding double disc set as a live concert film at Eathlink Live! Atlanta, Georgia June 15, 2002 - recorded for DVD and CD. This double live CD features performances of such Kansas-classics like "Dust in the Wind", "Carry on Watward Son" and "Point of Know Return". A special selected career spanning set list is the main selling point of this album, i presume, and by the way features a multimedia bonus track NOT included on the DVD release, "Distant Vision" from their excellent 2000 album "Somewhere to Elsewhere".
The line up for Kansas on this album is the "Classic" featuring drummer Phil Ehart, vocalist/keyboardist Steve Walsh, violinist Robby Steinhardt, bass player Billy Greer and guitarist Richard Williams - with sleeve note thanks to Kerry Livgren.
The tracks selected to this release, as mentioned, pictures the magnificent career of this exceptional band. One of my (many) highlights on "Device - Voice - Drums" is "The Preacher" from my favorite 1988 concept album "In the Spirit of Things" which features the vocal abilities of 60 (!) members of Atlanta's New Advent Choir. But also the Stirring performance of "Dust in the Wind" in an arrangement which includes a string section was based on the version recorded back in 1998 for the "Always Never the Same" album with the London Symphony Orchestra.
If you are into Kansas and/or symphonic hard rock based on musicianship par excellence and performed with a lot of authority and self confidence this double live CD will not disappoint you - it is an essential release!

© Steen Peitersen 1999-2003