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Rated X - Rated X

Label: Frontiers
Format: CD download
Released: 2014
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 8/ 10


Latest entry in the blues-based hard rock supergroup category features Carmine Appice (drums), Tony Franklin (bass, ex-Blue Murder) and singer Joe Lynn Turner, best known for his stint in Rainbow. Speaking of which, the opening strains of lead track ‘Get Back My Crown’ recall Mr. Blackmore's ‘Can't Happen Here’. With copious use of organ/keyboards, as well as Turner's voice, the comparison is consistent throughout the dozen songs. With its guitar/organ interplay, a lilting ‘I Don't Cry No More’ could be mistaken for an early 90s Deep Purple outtake.

 

The first of three ballads, ‘Lhasa’ doesn't really work, but ‘Devil In Disguise’ gets things back on track. A grittier guitar edge characterizes ‘Peace Of Mind’, that omnipresent organ riding just below the surface. This one gives Franklin plenty of time to shine, ultimately fading out with gradually diminishing drum beats. A re-written ‘Stone Cold’ appears in the guise of ‘Maybe Tonight’. The best tune is ‘On The Way To Paradise’, an uptempo rocker. The concluding ‘Stranger In Us All’ plays it fairly straight ahead, until a funky little sequence toward the latter third. Fun, retrospective disc for all those old-timers who lament “they don'’t make albums like they used to...” Well yes (scene veterans still) do!

 
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