Released on: Frontiers. Release date: Available now.
Well, his voice is one I stumbled on, nay, was blown away by back in 1988 when someone introduced me to the band House of Lords and their debut album.
That album and the subsequent HOL project was the brainchild of one Greg Guiffria, ex-Angel keyboard wizard, after his own band Guiffria folded or was forced to fold by a certain Gene Simmons (Kiss), for his new label conveniently named ‘Simmons Records!’
Original demos were made with Guiffria singer David Glen Eisley – Later released as ‘The Demo’s.’ – but the verdict was that Simmons insisted on a new singer too. Enter one James Christian the vocalist at the time that I had certainly never been aware of, joining Guiffria bassist Chuck Wright (Guiffria, Quiet Riot), much travelled drummer Ken Mary and guitarist Larry Cordola (Guiffria), all who contributed to the excellent first self titled HOL album in 1988.
I also saw them open for The Scorpions in 1989 and London’s Hammersmith Odeon.
After legal wrangles the band started again, but Greg Guiffria chose not to be a part of it and the next album did not appear until 2004. Sadly, ‘The Power and the Myth’ was a disappointing return, but follow up ‘World Upside Down,’ was much more in keeping with the HOL traditions.
‘Live in the UK’ followed which was pretty good, then ‘Come To My Kingdom’ (2008), ‘Cartesian Dreams’ (2009) and ‘Big Money’ (2011) all impressed me but nothing new has since been released from HOL, but now we have this release from James Christian, who has been the one constant throughout the whole HOL saga.
Songwriters involved in this release include session musician Tommy Denander who seems to get in everywhere these days and Christian’s HOL’s band mate, guitarist Jimi Bell. Bell along with HOL drummer BJ Zampa also both play on the album on different tracks too, as well as Christian’s musical wife, the very talented Robin Beck who helps with backing vocals.
Other players include guitarists Jorge Salas and Shelby Stewart, Jeff Kent on keyboards and David Sherman also contributes some drums tracks.
James is seen holding an acoustic guitar and NOT dressed in his familiar black outfits.
Looking quite casual, someone could be mistaken for thinking this was a folk album, it is not!
I’m almost reminded of ‘American Heartbeat,’ (Survivor) but since its James Christian and once it gets into it, you automatically think of House of Lords, naturally perhaps but just significantly more commercial.
Much as I love the song, it really sounds like James has tried to capture too many tracks / sounds and it’s mainly vocal, drums, bass, keyboards and it’s lacking in guitar until the guitar solo spots come along that almost sounds Steve Vai like, which kind of makes up for the lack of it overall. Nice!
Still a very strong song indeed though, I really like it!
I really like the song as I do pretty much like everything on here, although the harder rocking fans of House of Lords may be a little disappointed.
I think the strong songs really shine through though.
Next up ‘You’re So Bad’ kind of rocks through the verses, but the chorus is again very pop rock like.
In the end it’s all good melodic rock, the verses even have a slight Whitesnake like feel to them actually.
Pure pop rock slickness indeed!
It’s still catchy as can be!
It kind of rocks and it’s perhaps a little more up tempo than the last track, but it feels like it’s not quite into top gear.
I still like the track, but it feels like something is missing.
It just does feel like it’s missing a little edge though, so it’s not quite all I would’ve liked to have heard, but still enjoyable.