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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
First-Signal-one-step-over-the-line-CD-Review-2016

FIRST SIGNAL - ONE STEP OVER THE LINE
ALBUM Review

Frontiers Records | Release Date: June 3 2016




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First Signal’s debut release was one of my picks of the year for 2010 and so it’s been way too long between drinks in one respect, on the other hand (I love mixed metaphors) when you get a release of this quality it is pretty much worth the wait!


But wait up – pretty much everything has changed for this second release except that is the vocals of Harry Hess and the name of the project – gone is musician and producer Dennis Ward who wrote much of the first album and who managed to capture that Harem Scarem sound so well; and in steps musician and producer Daniel Flores and Michael Palace to provide the music. Now normally that would have started thewarning bells ringing but in this case even though the sound is somewhat different the music more than stands up.


Whlist the debut album really rested pretty squarely on sumptuous AOR sounds, album number two generally has a harder more eighties hard rock edge and an abundance of keys (which at times are my only gripe). As I said whilst the album may sound different it’s those Hess vocals that carry it into minor classic territory.


Setting the scene with ‘Love Run Free’ and ‘Love Gets Through’ is a pretty safe bet,solid songs, great AOR groove, nice guitars, but surprisingly after the powerhouse way the debut started out, not the best here. That comes with the first ballad here ‘Still Pretending’which is hugely melodic and sports a hook big enough to land a lazy whale.


After that we really are crusing – with the powerful and melodic ‘Broken’ and the low key beauty of ’Kharma’ before the real gem ‘One Minute of Your Time’ really seals the deal.


After that there’s plenty of crunch from ‘She is Getting Away’ and similarly ‘December Rain’ has a rousing Arena Rock sound. The only real disappointment is the ballad ‘Weigh Me In’ it’s not that its a bad song just the weaker of the slower numbers here.


The album closes with two of the harder-edged numbers – ‘Pedestal’ and the title track which has a touch of early Harem Scarem about it as a parting word.


If you loved the debut, you’ll love this even if the sound has shifted slightly the richness and quality still remains.


 

by Mark Rockpit

 

 


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