FACE THE MUSIC
To be released on March 22, 2019 (Frontiers Music Srl)
I have been anticipating the release of the new album by Burning Rain for some time now. As I am a huge fan of Doug Aldrich — as much as I enjoy his work with the likes of The Dead Daisies, Whitesnake and Dio — Burning Rain is all him! Over the years, Aldrich has been in three bands that have been primarily him — Lion, Bad Moon Rising and Burning Rain. Now Lion dates back some 30 years. Holy shit, I’m old! Regardless, to me, there is a difference when you walk into a situation of an already established band. The expectation is that you don’t stray too far from the original vision. That’s where with Burning Rain, we get 100% Aldrich.
On Face The Music, that is indeed what we’ve got here. A straight ahead hard rock album with in your face guitar licks provided 110% by Doug Aldrich. Since the band’s very first album way back in 1999, I have indeed been a fan. That seems so hard to believe that because that was so long ago. Of course, current Kingdom Come vocalist Keith St. John is back and in fine form. The rhythm section is all new with former Slaughter drummer Blas Elias behind the kit and Y&T bassist Brad Lang providing a solid thundering attack. I think this rhythm section really adds a new dynamic approach to Burning Rain. Now take that with a grain of salt as Aldrich always seems to have ‘cream of the crop’ players on everything he does. Why shouldn’t he, considering his prowess as a musician and guitar player? I just make that statement in regards to the heavy backbone of the band on this album being the perfect combination for the music that has been created.
Now getting to the actual ‘meat and potatoes’ — the material on the album itself, what can really be said? Well… let me tell ya folks! Do the words ‘eclectically powerful’ resonate loud enough in your head? To me, that’s really the best way to describe what lies within the confines of Face The Music. Now you may ask yourself, “Tyson, can you not do better than that?” “Hell yeah I can!” Let’s take a song like “Revolution” for instance. In terms of lead off tracks, this one is ‘in your face’ and simply cooks like a succulent rack of ribs on a Beale St. in Memphis on July the 4th [by definition: hot as hell; melts in your mouth; truly appetizing!]. Do you like my food analogy? Too much? Over the top?
From there, the album instantly takes a turn with “Lorelei.” If it was 1993 in Seattle, this song would fit perfectly. I am still not sure about this one. I think it needs to grow on me. I almost think of Saigon Kick when I hear this track or even Aldrich’s past work with Bad Moon Rising on the Blood album. If any track could have been on the Whitesnake‘s Forevermore album, this would be it. “Nasty Hustle” has a certain sexiness to it. I’ve always found that singer Keith St. John has that ability to bring an extreme sexiness to the music through his distinct vocal delivery. Please, pardon my french, but the words ‘Je ne sais quoi’ seem to come to mind on this one. With “Midnight Train”, the band yet again means serious business. “I may have to call the fire department! There seems to be an extreme amount of smoke filling up the room. Please Mr. Aldrich, can you slow down a bit? I hope my record doesn’t melt!”
“Shelter” — ah yes, can you say “Led Zeppelin” boys and girls? Aldrich’s Zeppelin/Page influence is prevalent. Okay kids, it’s time to “Face The Music”. I think the title track is always something that holds importance, especially to the artist. There is a reason why they chose that title and how it pertains to the album. You’ll have to wait for the answer on that one though as my Doug Aldrich interview is still in the editing stages. “Beautiful Road” is just plain and simple — ass kicking! Great riff! Killer hook! Perfect formula!
As far as songs go on Face The Music, “Hit And Run” is by far my favorite track. Now, that is today. If you ask me tomorrow, it could be something different. I highly doubt it though. Any song that starts off bluesy really gets me excited. It brings me back to an album called Long Cold Winter by Cinderella. Who remembers, “So lookin’ on back when I was young. I tried to sing it but my song had been sung. And now I ain’t got no worries, ain’t got no one to call my own… I know… I said but when I got just a little bit older? All I got had come undone!” Kudos to Burning Rain on this song ’cause this is just what the doctor ordered and it brings back very deep musical feelings I hadn’t felt since 1988. I’m kind of beside myself on how great this track is. Then it is followed by a totally stylistically different piece of work called, “If It’s Love.” David Coverdale wanted to know “Is It Love”, and maybe it is, but now they have taken it one step further. This now poses the question — “If It’s Love”? What happens now? What does it all mean? That’s your homework for tonight kids. There will be a quiz on this. Amazing song, that once again invokes many feelings deep within. The textures are truly brilliant.
As the album draws to a close with only two songs remaining something seems to really be happening. It gets better with age with tracks 10 and 11 being the age factor in case you didn’t get it. “Hideaway” is kind of a hard rock Rolling Stones. St. John’s vocal delivery reminds me of that Jagger swagger on something from the late ’70s/early ’80s. I picture Jagger/St John strutting across the stage with chest forward and lips puckered as he/they point in the direction of the/their audience. Richards/Aldrich has the guitar stretched down low as he/they move(s) and shake(s) to the backbeat of the rhythm section. The album closes out with “Since I’ve Been Loving You.” Hell man! What an album! Stellar job boys!
03. Nasty Hustle
04. Midnight Train
06. Face The Music
07. Beautiful Road
08. Hit And Run
09. If It’s Love
11. Since I’m Loving You
Doug Aldrich – guitar
Keith St. John – vocals
Brad Lang – bass
Blas Elias – drums
Reviewed by Tyson Briden for Sleaze Roxx, March 2019
Burning Rain‘s “Midnight Train” video:
Subscribe here for more videos – http://radi.al/SubscribeFrontiers | From the album FACE THE MUSIC. Get your copy NOW: http://radi.al/FacetheMusic Follow th…
Burning Rain‘s “If It’s Love” song:
Subscribe here for more videos – http://radi.al/SubscribeFrontiers | From the album FACE THE MUSIC. Get your copy NOW: http://radi.al/FacetheMusic | Signed …