GET IT RIGHT
Released on May 12, 2023 (Frontiers Music Srl)
Enthusiasts of the b-sides may remember Heavens Edge, which was one of Columbia Records’ last bets when it came to ’80s hard rock. Their eponymous debut album, released in 1990, was produced by Neil Kernon, and the single and video clip “Skin To Skin”, was featured on MTV. The brief trajectory of the Philadelphia group would come to an end in 1992, in the midst of test recordings for their second album, for Capitol.
In 1998, Mark Evans (vocals), Reggie Wu (guitar), Steve Parry (guitar), George “G.G.” Guidotti (bass) and Dave Rath (drums) reunited to complete the work they had started six years earlier, releasing it under the moniker Some Other Place, Some Other Time on the German label MTM. They would join up again to contribute their version of Mötley Crüe‘s “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” to the tribute album Kickstart My Heart (1999), but it was only in 2013, the year that Heavens Edge played at Firefest X in England, that the band came back, in fact, to life.
However, the band’s new comeback was restricted to sporadic shows on the nostalgic circuit of festivals, such as the M3 Rock Festival and the Monsters of Rock Cruise. “It would be difficult to dedicate myself to this. I have a son in high school and getting ready to go to college, so my priority has to be my family. But you never know” is what Wu told this journalist, in June 2020, when asked if there was any prospect of a new album by the band in the near future. Almost three years after that interview, a new Heavens Edge album is finally seeing the light of day. Titled Get It Right, the new album draws attention because it simultaneously represents continuity and the exploration of new sound possibilities through the use of typical elements of a more modern rock. It also marks the debut of bassist Jaron Gulino, from the little known Tantric and Mach22, replacing Guidotti, who died of cancer in 2019.
Wu’s shredding on the six strings continues as the common thread of the songs; but on Get It Right, the guy outdoes himself by delivering breathtaking solos. However, Evans’ vocals are the most surprising thing. Time has not passed for him, as he continues to sing just like back in his glory days. Let’s face it, Mark was never the most operatic singer, but that’s precisely what makes his voice so accessible and difficult to get sick of. If you’re nostalgic for the old-time productions that are flooded with keyboards, you will notice this time around the lack of that instrument in the front line, but you won’t be able to complain about the absence of ballads as one of them, “What Could’ve Been”, is a strong candidate for the best love song ever recorded by the band. The vibe is totally Def Leppard; not the painful one of the 1980s, but the more hopeful one of the next decade.
Crudeness sets the tone on “Nothing Left But Goodbye” (acoustic guitar + slide guitar is a winning combination) while “9 Lives (My Immortal Life)”. “Raise ‘Em Up” and “Beautiful Disguise” sound like identical twins, conceived according to the dictates of the European hard rock of the new millennium. And there’s no other way to define “Dirty Little Secret” and the finisher “I’m Not the One” than “the most perfect example that Heavens Edge did not stop in time, but was unable to turn its back on its fans that probably stopped.”
Only time will tell if Get It Right will be the inaugural chapter of a new phase for the band. After all, Wu’s son should be halfway through graduation by now.
01. Had Enough
02. Gone Gone Gone
03. Nothing Left But Goodbye
04. What Could’ve Been
05. When The Lights Go Down
06. Raise ‘Em Up
07. 9 Lives (My Immortal Life)
08. Dirty Little Secrets
09. Beautiful Disguise
10. I’m Not The One
Mark Evans – lead vocals
Reggie Wu – guitar
Steve Parry – guitar
David Rath – drums
Jaron Gulino – bass
Heavens Edge‘s “When The Lights Go Down” single:
Heavens Edge‘s “What Could’ve Been” video:
Heavens Edge‘s “Had Enough” lyric video: