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Melodic Rock Round-up: April 2015

Album Review

Dave Ling on new releases from China Sky, Eclipse, Last Autumn’s Dream, Issa and Maverick

China Sky: China Sky II

In 1988 China Sky released a debut that AOR anoraks still cite in those lists of ‘the ones that got away’. The US trio appeared to have everything in their favour – brilliant songs, a singer to die for, sublime production from Grammy winner Karl Richardson... Amazingly, within six months the sun had set on China Sky.

Now, two-thirds of the original line-up – vocalist Ron Perry and bassist Richard Smith – are taking a second bite of the cherry. The absence of guitarist Bobby Ingram (who left to join Molly Hatchet), who they appear to blame for the break-up, is glaring. Whether reworking Dreams I’ll Never See and the hiring of a former Hatchet man, Bruce Crump, on drums, is intended to provoke Ingram only Perry and Smith will know. But the music is rarely less than spine-tingling.

Perry still hits the notes, and One Life, I Wish I Could Fly and You’ll Get Yours are belting tunes, and back in the long-lost days of rock radio the romantic schmaltz of The Richest Man In The World would’ve been a sure-fire hit.

What a shock, what a joy: China Sky are back. You’d better believe it. (9/10)

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