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Friday, January 14, 2011

All I Know - Vanity Kills album review

All I Know – Vanity Kills album review
Released on: Melodic Rock Records Release date: Available now.

All I Know are three young guys from Belgium who have really produced a very impressive sounding first full album in 'Vanity Kills,' even with it's tacky cover a little reminiscent of a certain Mötley Crüe cover!

If I told you that from the opening three songs alone, they have songs that sound as good, melodic and catchy as say White Lion, Poison, Bryan Adams and REO Speedwagon, you should be impressed, I was!
Then have moments where they have punchy riffing ala say the Scorpions and big songs in almost a Def Leppard niche ... Are you getting the vibe?

Perhaps not a lot too new, except that new band edge that makes the sound current, but their influences really show through.
I keep thinking that Mike Tramp might have had some input somewhere here too, as there seems to be like an underlying nod to White Lion here and there throughout.
Heck, these guys even pulled legendary rock producer Beau Hill on one track (Rain 2010 Remix), that should tell you something right there!

Opening track, 'All Night Long' really impresses me and I really do hear a certain nod towards White Lion about the song structure, I don't know, it's just something about it! Very good song, very catchy, great playing all round, great start guys!

Then and this surprises me to a degree, but 'Bad Boy' up next really sounds kind of punky glam, almost as I hinted before, like Poison. Very much glam pop rock.

I would never have thought that a band I have never heard of before could come up with a quality power ballad with say the musical structure of some of Bryan Adams best work in that area and yet presented in a way that REO Speedwagon would be totally proud of owning. I am very impressed indeed, although the title, I don’t know so much ‘Asphyxia,’ but it’s still so strong and we are just three songs in.

You know, Crazy Lixx impressed me to this extent, which just goes to show there are probably hundreds, nay thousands more bands out that simply don't get given the opportunity to release something - unless they do it themselves. - and these guys can thank Andrew McNiece for believing that people DO want to hear this material. It's really good stuff!

The Beau Hill track is next, that is apparently a 2010 remix of an old track, ‘Rain.’ Wow! How much have these guys released before this album? Apparently it’s only been a single independent release that they made themselves and sold at their live shows in 2009.
‘Rain’ sounds to me as big as say the Scorpions, big riffs, big choruses and I’m very impressed and someone obviously impressed these guys upon Beau Hill too, not bad eh?

‘Turn Back Time’ is just pure classy melodic rock, very AOR without doubt. Keep it coming guys!

Sounds like someone could have called up Mutt Lange to help out on ‘I Need You,’ as it reminds me a lot of say the stuff he did with both Def Leppard and Bryan Adams, no bad thing at all.

Oh boy, ‘Into Your Heart’ what a killer intro to an excellent, big sounding pop rocker that continues the excellent groove that they just don’t let up on. A very tasty lead break indeed and it just rolls on with such strong melodies throughout.
The more pop rock sound goes on with ‘I Wanna Rock You’ and keeps things on track.

‘Sweet 17’ and ‘Teenage Queen’ keep the uptempo hooklines coming and it is incredible that these guys have been trying to sign a deal for years and just could not get a look in it seemed, until Andrew McNiece did so.

With ‘All The Way,’ they take the pop rock to the edgier side they show at the early part of this album.

The band close the album with the ballad ‘Hope and Dreams’ which is alright too, perhaps might’ve been better placed elsewhere on the album, rather than being the last song that people will remember them by.

They are very talented indeed, generally a lot of quick and punchy three minute songs with many hooks, loads of melody and perhaps it’s very similar sounding in places but what’s wrong with that? Nothing, it’s the sound that All I Know have made their own.

This is a slick, hook laden release that as I’ve said throughout my review that has impressed me and if you like punchy, up tempo pop rockers and AOR in general, you should like this. They’ve got something good going on here and the only slight that I would mention is that perhaps ‘All The Way’ would’ve been a better album closer.
Good stuff indeed!

Rating: 4 out of 5

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