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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blanca White – Resurgence of Rock album review

Blanca White – Resurgence of Rock album review
Released on: Blancawhite label. Release date: Available now.

Blanca White's  'Resurgence of Rock' is the brainchild project of international lawyer Ken Savage and brothers Austin and Rick Schell, although I’m not 100% sure which of them plays what here, but I understand from the press release that Austin Schell is the ‘musical genius’ here as a musician, composer and arranger – So the Press release says! – and I know, you’re wondering why the review consideration here, from these ‘unknown’ individuals …

Well, these guys have managed to pull in a few ex-names to help out sing on the album.
Paul Shortino (Quiet Riot, Rough Cutt, King Cobra), Lorraine Lewis (Femme Fatale), Terry Ilous (XYZ, Great White) and Jeff Paris, a singer in his own right, but also a songwriter for many acts such as Vixen, Cinderella, Slash and Keb Mo, they all sing across the album.

Here’s the thing …, I really don’t know what to make of this, as I was excited to see Jeff Paris getting something out again and Lorraine Lewis I always thought had a great voice too, Terry Ilous I’ve heard much praise of too, but I know nothing of XYZ personally and then since I’ve not heard Jeff sing in a while, I have to say I wasn’t 100% sure which were his vocals. – I received an electronic download and with so many people singing here and with no list of who sings what, it really is hard to know, except for Lorraine. – Unless there’s another female vocalist on here?!

Opening track is the title number, which I think is sung by Paul Shortino – Never really been a real fan of his vocal. Sorry. – and he sounds ironically here like Eddie Money meets Lemmy!
The song contains some very cheesy / tongue in cheek lyrics, with many references to classic rock bands and song titles.
Basically though the song riff throughout sounds a little like it wants to be Boston meets ZZ Top … It’s OK, but it’s missing something.

Jeff Paris is singing ‘One For The Ages’ next and it’s OK, it’s not a classic Jeff Paris vocal to me and musically …, well you know I’m figuring out what’s wrong with this album and I’ve tried to give it a chance, really I have and I’ve played it a bunch of times and it’s serious lacking in the mix / production area.

I really think if these guys paid to get some names involved with the vocals, they should’ve splashed out a little more for a producer or name engineer to help out. It’s lacking guys, it really is.

‘Your Boyfriend is Lame’ – Hmm, what a song title, oh boy! – is sung by Terry Ilous and on this song the layering is all over the place and the drum sound is …, just not right and the lyrics … Oh boy … If this was the early 80’s and Autograph was playing it, it might come off, but listen to the production here versus something like ‘My Girlfriends Boyfriend Isn’t Me’ and it just gets wiped the floor of!

The sound on ‘Take Me Back’ sounds a little like Rod Stewart and Jeff is singing it and oh boy, Jeff
They really needed someone at the desk really directing better than I believe was done here. Shame …

‘Livin’ it Up (In a Mexican Bar)’ has a sub-Van Halen wannabe feel to it, guessing this is Paul Shortino and it’s mix seems a little all over the place, where it sounds like the guitars are fighting for space here and there.
He even reminds me a little of Nazareth’s Dan McCafferty during the verses here …

Lorraine Lewis steps up to sing ‘Still Turnin’ Heads’ and Femme Fatale it is not …!
The song itself just sounds kind of weak and I wish I could say more positive things about Lorraine’s vocal but it doesn’t work for me.

‘Another Hotel Bar’ is just, no … Sorry, don’t like it. It does nothing for me. Mid paced poppy rock.

You know, I really stand by what I mentioned before about if there was a name producer behind this, there could’ve maybe been more appeal.

The ballad, ‘Hundred Years War’ features Lorraine Lewis and she actually reminds me here a little like a cross between Stevie Nicks meets Grace Slick and it’s alright but again, I really think it could’ve used a little more production guidance.

The final number here is ‘Woman Side / Famous Last Chords,’ and it’s a pretty basic steady’ish rock number, that really just doesn’t really take me anywhere. Sorry but even some of the harmony guitar gets a little dis-jointed to me.

The overall sound here really sounds very much like demo quality material and I kind of wonder how much say Jeff and Lorraine had on the final ‘production’ before the album went to pressing?
It’s a real shame because I really wanted to like this, especially with who was involved.

I love Jeff Paris’ previous work and what I’ve heard of Lorraine Lewis before with Femme Fatale, but here … The album is simply a disappointment.

Guys, seriously, go back and remix it …

Rating: 2.5 out of 5


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