American Angel – Vanity

American Angel - Vanity
Released 2007 (Chavis Records)

Track List:
01. While I’m Away
02. Pantomind
03. Vanity
04. On The Hunt
05. Seven
06. Warm Inside
07. Don’t Wait Up
08. Breathe
09. In Perfection
10. End Of The Night
11. Another Day
12. Turns To Grey
13. Permanent Pause
14. Don’t Wait Up (Remix)

Rocco Fury – vocals
Dennis Zehrer – guitar
Mike Biscula – guitar
Jay Druzba – bass
Marc Ambrosy – drums
Eric Ragno – keyboards

Mixed and mastered by Stevie DeAcutis.

The return of American Angel from their 15 year hiatus is in name only, as vocalist Rocco Fury is the sole original member left remaining. We all know by now that not many returning bands with only a few original members manage to recapture their magic and ultimately fail. However Vanity is no failure, in fact it is a flawless return to 80s hard rock glory.

  I’m not familiar with American Angel‘s previous work, but if Vanity is a disappointment compared to the band’s earlier material it can only mean that Rocco Fury and company must have been the most impressive 80s band that slipped past me! Vanity has it all, huge melodies, memorable choruses, flashy guitar work, shifting tempos and powerful yet gruff vocals.

  It actually took me a long time to listen to this entire CD because I kept repeating the first full track, “Pantomind”. With slide guitars and a slight southern feel, it quickly became one of the best songs I’ve heard so far this year. It has the same type of over-the-top quality about it as Tyketto‘s classic “Forever Young”. Even if the rest of Vanity sucked, “Pantomind” would have made the album a must have. Thankfully that isn’t the case, as other stand-out tracks include the sexually charged “On The Hunt”, “Seven”, the mid-tempo “Warm Inside” and the perfect “In Perfection”. Even the full-blown acoustic ballad “Another Day” impresses while “Turns To Grey” has a chorus that reminds me of the Killer Dwarfs‘ “Comin’ Through”.

  There is a line in “Pantomind” that says ‘I’m never getting back to 1984.’ That may be true, but American Angel has definitely captured the spirit of that time. Any rock fan with good taste will run to their nearest record store (if one still exists in your area) and demand Vanity today – it is one of 2007’s must have albums! – –

Reviewed by Skid for Sleaze Roxx, July 2007.

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