Released 2005 (Rockjock Music)
02. Heartbeat Away
03. Just Can’t Wait
05. Rock Bottom
06. Innocence Of Yesterday
07. Lovers In The Shadow
08. Holdin’ Out For Heaven
09. Thinkin’ Bout Love
10. You’re Not The Only One (live)
Paul Daniels – lead/background vocals and keyboards
Kevin Achenbach – lead/rhythm guitar
Rick Falco – bass and vocals
Dwain Miller – drums and vocals
Maggie Flanigan-Smith – vocals (3, 4 & 6)
Rik Cantu – guitar overdubs (3 & 6)
Chelsea Daniels and Paige Daniels – vocals (6)
Jo “Joann” Dupre – vocals (9)
Philip Wolfe – keyboards (10)
Jeff Richfield – drums (7 & 8)
Tommy Amato – drums (9)
Eric Swanson – bass (9)
Produced by Paul Daniels and Loni Specter. Tracks 7 and 8 produced by Paul Daniels. Track 10
produced by Allen Isaacs.
It has been over a decade since Rox Diamond released their self-titled debut, but like so many other rock bands they have reformed (with the classic line-up). This time around the guys have recorded six new songs and thrown in some early demos and a live number and called the collection Powerdrive. And what a collection it is – this is the way AOR and melodic rock should be played!
I actually like the group’s new music better then their older material as it seems they have moved away from the pomp/AOR in favor of a more straight forward Heavens Edge and King Kobra approach. The result is still a heavily polished sound, but a sound that also has a backbone and just begs to be listened to repeatedly.
The title track leans heavily on the push and pull between guitar and keyboards – add a powerful chorus and the accelerating ending and it becomes one catchy number. “Heartbeat Away” is more in-your-face, but once again the chorus is huge and the song continually grows on the listener. “Rock Bottom” is the closest Rox Diamond gets to no-frills hard rock (can anyone say 70s arena rock?) and is offset perfectly with the melodic “Innocence Of Yesterday”, complete with a children’s choir. But of the six new tracks “Joann” is the stand-out. It isn’t the fastest or most melodic song represented on Powerdrive, but it works exceptionally well – mainly due to the powerful emotional vocals of Paul Daniels.
As stated earlier, I find the demos (tracks 7 to 9, recorded in 1986/88 when the band was known as Casanova and prior to the addition of ex-Keel drummer Dwain Miller) disappointing when compared to their new material – they rely too heavily on the keyboards. The Powerdrive CD (as well as a live concert DVD) can now be purchased at www.roxdiamond.com, and it will be money well spent.
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