Rock Company 2018
Still aflame, American hard rockers finally see the light and share it with their flock.
In a classic case of perseverance and payoff, this ensemble never looked for comfort if creativity promised a sweeter fruit: lesser mortals could have stopped long ago without proceeding further, up to a fifth album, but "No Place Like Home" clearly dictated the necessity of a follow-up. Cue “Made To Burn” which is immediate in its gratification, although not completely fulfilling, and leaves everyone, musicians and fans alike, wanting more once the record’s over.
It’s starting impressively, too, with “Time To Walk Away” whose heavy riffs grab the listener by the scruff of their neck and toss towards delicious adventure – a love affair where pain goes hand in hand with pleasure, especially on the raging choruses, while the piano-led “Out Of Time” has balladry laid out in such a way that there’s a sense of urgency unfurling before Damian D’Ercole’s guitars move focus away from Phil Vincent’s voice. Still, for all the melodic flair of “Open Your Eyes” which explores the group’s larger leanings, epic scope doesn’t lend itself quite graciously to what the trio and their friends try to achieve – despite acoustic passages woven into progressive landscape.
The same, fortunately, can’t be said about the top-notch rock ‘n’ roll roaring through lush choruses of “Lyin’ To Yourself” or molten emotions fed into the “Mistreated” blues which are but a feeble counterbalance for “Only A Feeling” that’s too light and too close to a certain similarly titled piece from more prominent AOR purveyors – wonderfully outweighed by the rumble ‘n’ buzz of “Tragedy In Motion” to set things right, with “Same Old Story” tipping the scales in favor of sheer pleasure. So even “Don’t Know What You Got” is following a well-trodden path, it leads to the ensemble’s triumph anyway. In other words, “Time To Burn” is this group’s finest hour to date.