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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bonrud – Save Tomorrow album review

Bonrud – Save Tomorrow album review
Released on: Escape Music. Release date: Available now
‘Save Tomorrow’ is the second album from the Bonrud band, released through Escape Music led by the incredibly talented Paul Bonrud, who’s guitar playing and songwriting / arranging, production work, etc, etc all go hand in hand to create some masterful work.
The first self-titled album was released in 2004 through the Frontiers label and gained much praise, even if it did draw many comparisons to AOR greats Journey, from the artwork of that album through to the music.
I wish I could give you a little more background on the guy, but since I can’t, I really would strongly emphasize that the music really does speak very well for itself!
With an animated album cover featuring a ‘Wonder Woman’ or ‘Superwoman’ like superhero type cute looking cartoon character, flying over an animated city it could all too easily make people not take this seriously, but you should! 
Ably assisted by fantastic vocalist Rick ‘Four Octave’ Forsgren and drummer Paul Higgins as the foundations here, they also have guest input on keyboards from Eric Ragno (Graham Bonnet, Jeff Scott Soto and many more!), Richard Baker (Santana, Lynch Mob, Warrant, Saga and more) and Dave Gross.
Perhaps the icing on the cake here, is that Paul and gang have captured the services of producer extraordinaire in Keith Olson (REO Speedwagon, Santana, Whitesnake, The Babys, Fleetwood Mac to name a handful!).

This really is a strong album and while I see comparisons drawn again in others reviews to Journey, I believe there is much more depth and earthiness to this release. Seriously, I can hear similar styling’s here and there to say UFO and other European hard rock acts too.

‘We Collide’ opens things with a keyboard led intro, before rocking the house in great style, Paul’s guitar work …, phenomenal, Rick’s strong vocals and powerhouse drumming from Paul Higgins and as hard rocking and edgy as it gets, there’s still the melody.
Good strong opener!

With ‘Bullet in the Back’ it’s without doubt darker and edgier still.
The solo licks throughout, kind of still throw me a little no matter how many times I’ve played this – It’s been a few too, great album! – yet the song is once again, very strong and unique.
‘American Dream’ is a good solid rocker, almost like prime time Scorpions musically, yet a very catchy AOR style chorus.
All good to me!
OK, hopefully Paul (Bonrud) doesn’t take this badly, but title track ‘Save Tomorrow’ musically is very Journey like … And I love it!
Rick Forsgren really has a great voice, it’s far from Steve Perry style and he’s not trying, why should he, his voice is unique enough.
Paul's guitar work here, is even quite like Neal Schon in style, a little different from the jority of the rest of the material.
‘Liquid Sun’ is another beauty and actually Paul’s playing at times reminds me here a little of Steve Vai but the overall composition makes me think a little of The Verve Pipe or even Collective Soul in its structure and sound and maybe they come to mind as I watched a live Collective Soul show last night, as I write this.
With ‘I’d Do Anything’ it’s very much back to the AOR styling’s you might expect to hear more of by these guys.
I love the driving Hammond organ in the pre-chorus and chorus itself and the chorus harmony vocals are really strong too.
Great track, nice one guys!
There’s a lot more of a darker edginess to ‘Last Sunrise,’ much more of a European hard rock / metal yet still melodic groove, still very enjoyable.
‘Torn Apart’ has a more pop / rock like sound … Single? Easy on the ears as an up tempo pop rock number, yet Paul still manages to squeeze in a very tasty solo.
Getting more in sync with the AOR rock groove is the mid-paced hock full of melodies. Nice!
 ‘Dominoes’ is an up tempo commercial rocker, the big chorus is clearly the standout here, big harmonies.
With ‘You’re The One’ it’s another good up tempo number that has a underlying riff that really reminds me of one on Tal Bachman’s ‘She’s So High,’ but the of course Rick sounds nothing like Tal and neither does the rest of the song.
It’s perhaps at times a little more like classic Bryan Adam’s the way the organ / guitar work together.

‘End of Days’ has an almost epic like feel to it, to close the album.  Great power chords kick in for the pre-chorus and chorus, whereas the verses are a little more laid back. There’s great layering to this one. I wonder how many tracks they recorded this across.
Again great vocal from Rick and Paul’s guitar work is sweet.
Overall, this album is a wonderful piece of work, great songs and great playing and Escape have clearly backed Paul with this, by pulling Keith Olsen in to ‘do the business’ to the album.
I’m guessing Paul basically did all guitar, as well as keyboards and bass on here too, so with Rick’s fantastic vocals, Paul Higgins solid drumming and fine production work from Keith Olsen, this is an album that people may not be too aware of and may not have thought to check it out, but you really should!
Nice work throughout, very recommended!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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