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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vega – Kiss of Life Album review.
Released on: Frontiers Records. Release date: Available now.

Vega, are a very tasty sounding band indeed, that features the talents of one Nick Workman (Ex-Kick, Eden) on vocals and the two guys Tom and James Martin (House of Lords, Khymera, Sunstorm, etc), who seem to have written many good songs, for many bands, including songstress Issa.

This debut album ‘Kiss Of Life’ is so solid and complete thanks to production by John Greatwood, who’s done engineering work for Tom Lord Alge and the album was mastered by Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69).

If you like a really big sounding production / mix of say Loverboy, Bon Jovi and even hints of Def Leppard, with a poppy edgy sound, that’s helps to keep the sound more current, then this should grab you for real! I’ve played this album so much, I really, really do enjoy it!

You know, I really enjoyed Nick Workman’s material with Kick and really felt for that band, that they were so criminally overlooked.  Check out ‘Consider This’ sometime folks, a very good album, although I never did hear follow up ‘New Horizon.’

Anyway, here’s the thing and here I go again … - Sigh! – My apologies to artists out there that hate comparisons to other artists, but I really do find it helps give people with no previous knowledge of the artists work, put bluntly, a clue!

OK, I was never a big Loverboy fan, wait for it, give me a chance to explain where I’m going!
The thing is, I liked moments of Loverboy’s early material but one album from them that was much overlooked, was a more .., mature album in ‘Wildside.'
I really thought that was a great album that deserved to be globally huge!

So now back to what I find interesting here about Vega, is perhaps because of Nick's hooking up with both Tom and James Martin, but these guys have created a monster album! Full of great hooks, great melodies and Nick Workman’s voice at times reminds me of Mike Reno at his absolute best and this album sounds to me, like the album Loverboy should’ve recorded after Wildside!

It’s really great and kicks off with the almost ‘Boys of Summer’ like intro led ‘Into The Wild’ that builds up and grows into such a rich track. Killer vocals, great punchy power chords, great full rich keyboards and strong rhythm driving the track along, I just love it!

Title track ‘Kiss Of Life’ almost has a Honeymoon Suite / Bon Jovi like vibe and I love the underlying chugging riffs here and the keyboard fills just make the overall track sound so full. Full marks seriously to John Greatwood for getting so much out of these guys, I can’t wait for the follow up and I’m saying this after just the first two tracks!

‘One of a Kind’ …, I’m sorry, but the chorus is something as big as say Bon Jovi’s 'It’s My Life' or 'Have a Nice Day,' it just continues to show what these guys have achieved here.

‘Staring At The Sun,’ is once more just another superb sing-a-long song with over layered keys, those punchy guitar, great guitar solo work and a continued rich vocal performance. So, so good!

The power ballad ‘Too Young for Wings’ is just slick! It’s starts with haunting breathy vocals from Nick Workman before growing as any good power ballad should.
The band is capturing so much in their songwriting and performance here, that I would love to see them live.

In next track ‘A.N. Other’ it’s one of those tracks that chugs along, some stop, start punchy changes and some interesting bridge moments and yes, some tasty guitar work again.

With ‘Headlights’ it’s a solid up tempo pop rocker, while ‘Stay With Me’ starts with some atmospheric sounds before getting into Billy Idol sounding territory, almost ‘Rebel Yell’ like at times and ‘Heart’s of Glass’ reminds me a little of Kick’s sound a bit.

‘Wonderland’ next keeps up the multi-layered punchy pop rock in fine style, then the band take the sound down for some atmospherics and then it builds up again and rocks out.

Now I’ve got to say, when I first heard the gentle opening piano on ‘Whatever It Takes,’ I got goose bumps! Weird, but it comes right out of the blue, through a laid back verse, then the chorus picks things up, eases back in the verse then the piano again, with a soaring guitar ala say ‘Sister Christian’ style and it’s just a really nice track.

The last track ‘S.O.S.’ starts with keys, then the verse vocals, then in comes the band to a huge chorus and so follows a good steady mid paced rocker.

Yes, I really like this album and these guys have really impressed me and given the chance they should certainly do the same for you. Great stuff indeed.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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