The best melodic rock you can buy this month
Dave Ling on the latest releases from Raintimes, Eisley/Goldy, Steve Walsh, The Radio Sun and Gypsy Soul
Raintimes - Raintimes
Raintimes began life as a personal tribute to the exquisite and much missed talents of The Storm, a Journey breakaway combo from San Francisco that featured Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory and Steve Smith. On the other side of the world in Northern Italy, Pierpaolo ‘Zorro’ Monti played Storm’s two albums so much, especially their second, 1996’s Eye Of The Storm, he almost wore them out.
More than 20 years after The Storm folded for good, Monti, by then a member of the successful AOR acts Shining Line and Charming Grace, wrote a song called Forever Gone in their style. When Davide Barbieri, his pal from Charming Grace, became involved and the pair roped in Michael Shotton of Canadian veterans Von Groove to provide a steady hand with the vocals, Raintimes were born.
Forever Gone opens this album like a divine throwback of those days of post-grunge defiance, although fidelity-wise the production places things in a more modern context. And there’s plenty more where it came from – Make My Day, Don’t Ever Give Up, I Need Tonight, Together As Friends… you’ll struggle to find a duffer here. (8/10)
Eisley/Goldy - Blood, Guts And Games
In which frontman David Glen Eisley and guitarist Craig Goldy fail to redeem themselves following their clusterfuck of a set at Rockingham 2015 as part of the Gregg Giuffra-less Giuffria (yes, really). Isley’s voice has seen much better days, and these songs are so lumpen and uninspiring that BGAG must rank among 2017’s most crushing disappointments. (6/10)
Steve Walsh - Black Butterfly
Rightly revered for his contributions to Kansas and Streets, Steve Walsh retired from the former band three years ago. Given the forlorn shape of his voice and spirit back then, this slick collection of melodic-pomp songs – crafted with back-up from Tommy Denander and Steve Overland, among others – is far, far better than anyone could have reasonably expected. (8/10)
The Radio Sun - Unstoppable
Once again produced by Paul Laine of the Defiants, Unstoppable is the fourth full-length album from these Aussie Leppard-alikes. Long-term fans of The Radio Sun will know what to expect from the band by now, and the keyboards from guest player Andy Shanahan of Down Under cult heroes Roxus on the ballad Dreams Should Last Forever provide an additional bonus. (6/10)
Gypsy Soul - Winners And Losers
In 1987, Ronnie Montrose teamed future Foreigner vocalist Johnny Edwards with fellow ex-King Kobra man JK Nortrup on guitar, producing some of the songs now heard on this previously unreleased set. The results, which found their way on to records by Foreigner, King Kobra and Paul Shortino, should satisfy fans of Humble Pie and 80s Bad Co. (6/10)