Rock Company 2021
Marking their label’s 50th release, British ensemble put their stylistic values under the spotlight.
D’ERCOLE’s “Hard Core” may not feel radically different from its predecessors, but they’re the sort of band for whom stepping out of genre line would be considered a major digression, and though occasional sonic experiment is always welcome, the team’s supporters expect more of the same – given the hooks are aplenty on display. Fortunately, refrains of this kind appear abundantly here.
If the group’s 2018 offering "Made To Burn" promised inflammatory action, “Hard Core” delivers on the promise with a searing riff of “Keep It All Together” that cuts to the center of the album’s matter without drawing out its intro and allows Phil Vincent to let rip and make the listener part of the chorus’ tuneful assault. As D’Ercole brothers, bassist Damian and drummer B.F., pile on powerful grooves, easily chugging numbers such as “Bad Dream” uncover their caring nature, and when Vince O’Regan’s guitars take off, one’s ear is even firmly riveted to a song’s melodic figures.
Yet Vincent’s ivories render “Bringing Me Down” and “This Is Your Life” an arresting instance of heavy pop, the pieces’ bouncy surfaces calling every pair of feet to join in the dance, while the dramatic nostalgic journey of “Lost in Yesterday” seems to belong on Phil’s solo record which preceded this collective outing. Still, it’s epic finale “The Only One” that reveals the full scope of ensemble’s prog-reined bombastic abilities, where the players’ individual parts tantamount to something bigger than their dynamic sum.
So yes, it’s more of the same – only on the next level of the ensemble’s creative spiral.