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American Angel – Vanity

Label: Chavis Records
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

With a strong local scene as a backbone around the Tri State Area and a ton of airplay from local hard rock radio station 89.5 WSOU, back in the late 80’s early 90’s these New Jersey rockers were so close to making it though unfortunately it didn’t happen. They were just a little late with the change in the mainstream music scene as grunge took over radio and MTV.


Maybe you remember their self titled debut that included classics 'How Can I Miss You', 'After the Laughter', and 'Teenage Runaway', with 'Open up the Balcony' and 'Best Part of Christmas' from the follow up E.P. But after that there was no more music with the name forgotten.

So after many years of not making any American Angel records, original singer Rocco Fury returns with a new lineup attempting to recapture their classic sound of hard rock guitars with melodic vocals and catchy chorus’. Now after all this time and without the original rhythm section you would think it was hard to do so. I would say not so in this case as lead off track 'While I’m Away' and 'Pantomind' do retain their original formula from the debut as do the vocal harmonies for 'Warm Inside'. 'Another Day' is a pretty cool sing along ballad. The songs do have a consistency in sound and style and Rocco keeps the focus on the chorus’ and backing vocals. It does sound like American Angel.

I feel "Vanity" does lack the debut’s spark and honestly don’t see this getting past the eat coast’s hard rock scene. I think it’s just been too long, it is what it is and is what it was. What was then is not now. But I think American Angel fans will be pleased and Rocco did a good job of staying true to what was. By the way the cover artwork is terrible.

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