LOVE ON THE ROCKS
Released 2004 (Pleasure Maker)
01. Fast N’ Wild
02. Out Of Control
03. Just Thinkin’ About U
04. Hard 2 Say Goodbye
05. Bad Reputation
06. Pleasure Maker
07. Know How
08. Stay With Me
09. Only A Dream
10. Neon Stars
11. Give It All
12. Open Your Eyes
13. Face 2 Face (Keep The Fire Burnin’)
C. Marshall – vocals
Alex Meister – guitars and backing vocals
Mark Sant’anna – bass
Adriano Morais – drums and backing vocals
Sidney Sohn – keyboards (2, 3, 4, 8 & 9)
Mauricio Cruz – keyboards (1, 6, 8 & 9) and backing vocals (2 & 4)
Produced by Alex Meister. Engineered by Mauricio Cruz.
Rio de Janeiro is hardly what I would consider the hotbed for rock ‘n’ roll, but the guys in Pleasure Maker are determined to change that – and make a valiant effort with Love On The Rocks. Oddly enough the group evolved out of a Bon Jovi cover band, yet to me doesn’t sound like the those multi-platinum superstars at all. To these ears Pleasure Maker has the musicianship of Heavens Edge and Thunder combined with the vocal styling of Tora Tora and (umm…) Thunder – a damn good mixture.
Upon first viewing the album artwork I was expecting some lame lounge act, not a well rounded melodic rock outfit. But I soon came to the conclusion that alcohol and a bed do in fact make for ‘pleasure’ and I assume a scantily clad woman isn’t far away (or else the call-girl hasn’t arrived yet). Then I started playing this disc and realized there is nothing lame about Pleasure Maker at all. Melodic rock is the type of music that when done well makes for a great listen and when done poorly comes across as overproduced and heartless – Pleasure Maker falls into the first category.
I was always a huge fan of Tora Tora, so hearing someone resemble Anthony Corder is a refreshing change for me. Right from the opening track, through the early Tangier sounds of “Just Thinkin’ Of You”, the powerful ballad “Stay With Me”, to the last note of “Face To Face” this is a great album. I only have two minor complaints; 1. The funk bass during the solos of “Out Of Control” and “Pleasure Maker”, but these songs are good enough to withstand that, and 2. “Neon Stars”. I can tell Alex Meister is a guitar shredder, but I can’t stand wank-o-ramas like that of “Neon Stars”. It comes across as showing off (let’s leave that for Yngwie Malmsteen), but the positive is that it is only a minute long and leads into the best song on the album, “Give It All”.
The choruses are huge, the licks are furious and the entire release is very professional. Pleasure Maker is a band to keep an eye on, even though their location may make that hard to do. Fans of well done melodic rock should check out www.pleasuremaker.com.
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