Lightning Strikes - 'Lightning Strikes' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 19, 2018    
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Very enjoyable and just keep your fingers crossed that their work rate improves a bit.

Always check the tin for contents; with a record label which boasts the Pure Legends name and a cover design showing a planetary explosion, anticipation is high and much is promised on the full-length debut from Southern California's Lightning Strikes. Debut album that is, aside from their recording debut on a 1985 eponymous single. It's not a typo – that really is over thirty years ago – and it's some twenty-five since drummer Karpis Maksudian resurrected his Rock dreams with his natural partner in the rhythm section, bassist Cat Tate. Pulling in Rob Math on guitar, who shows his chops with some fleet fingered fret-work within a minute of 'Victim', and singer Nando Fernandes, they are whole once more and this time around have a whole album to leave as a true legacy.

Maybe it's because Saxon has been on the personal play-list recently, but there's a feel of good, old-fashioned British Heavy Metal about this album. It's not long before Fernandes is flexing his strident vocal chords à la Ronnie James Dio on the aptly-titled Metallic thump of 'Can't Cross The Rainbow', with some Math guitar shredding and gymnastics filling the gaps at every opportunity. There are bit parts for former Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinan, a couple of vocal guest slots for Tony Martin (one time Black Sabbath) and Noah of Japanese Rockers Avanchick.

Martin adds an element of urgency on the frantic 'Death Valley' while Noah shifts 'Kamikaze' in the direction of an exotic Eastern flavour. If honest, I'm not sure why there's the need to include different vocalists when Fernandes does more than a decent job. That said, it's more of a challenge in adapting his usual flamboyant style to a more sensitive approach when 'Stay With Me' enters acoustic mode.

Ending on a high, the rolling keyboards of 'Our Lady' and the slightly stereotypical romp of 'We Don't Rock Alone' round off a quality old-school Heavy Rock experience. It feels like there should be a voice announcing "Ladies and gentlemen, you've been listening to the outcome of a lifetime listening to Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake and Black Sabbath". This sums up Lightning Strikes – the band and the album – pretty well. Very enjoyable and just keep your fingers crossed that their work rate improves a bit...

Mike Ainscoe

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