Fireworks

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GTS - 'Tracks From The Dustshelf' / 'Time Stood Still' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ce/c0/18/3255_gtstracksfromthedustshelf_1360194492.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 06, 2013    
 
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An unexpected opportunity to purchase two melodic rock gems from over 15 years ago at normal prices.

Not the usual story this one; label boss Gregor Klee unearthed and acquired the remaining stock of the original pressings of these much sought after mid-90s albums when he was discussing with former GTS guitarist Greg Hart (also of Moritz and If Only) the idea to re-release them. Hart remembered that he had some boxes of both albums that had been sitting in a storage room for well over a decade and it is this very limited stock that is now being reissued (rather than re-released) by Avenue Of Allies.

Why are they “much sought after”? Quite simply because they are both absolutely choc full of wonderful, breathtaking, AOR material and sung by one of the most mellifluous of voices ever to grace a recording studio and all enhanced with tremendous harmonies! The trio responsible for ‘Tracks…’ (the aforementioned Hart, plus Toby Sadler (ex Airrace, keyboards) and Sam Blue (ex Ya-Ya and Ultravox for the 1995 album ‘Ingenuity’ and which had also included Vinny Burns on guitar, vocals)), were supplemented for the sophomore release by drummer Charlie Mack. ‘Tracks…’ (released in 1995) was criticised at the time for its somewhat poor production (it was basically an 8-track recording) and leaden drum sound (courtesy of a drum machine), the second album had a much better production and overall sonics and of course benefited from the use of “proper” drums. However, if you are a fan of AOR, and don’t possess both of these albums, I absolutely urge you not to be “sniffy” about the debut, and I also encourage you to act quickly as I am quite sure they will not be available for long. The leading German music mail order outlets both have stock, apparently.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Both albums succeed in not getting stuck into a mid-tempo rut, the debut for instance starting with ‘Endless’ and ‘You’ that are both uptempo rockers, before ballad ‘Baby Makes Time’ coats your ears! Things hot up again with the chest thumping melodic rock of ‘Marrianne’ while this is followed by the classic AOR vibe of ‘Turning Over Again’, ‘Dream On’ and ‘Fascination’. Oh, the songs, the songs…all enhanced by Hart’s fabulous guitar performances (Sadler’s keyboards also occasionally being allowed to shine, but all too frequently submerged in the mix). Of the three tracks concluding the album (‘Hands Of Time’, ‘Love Like Fire’ and ‘The Other Side’) you will immediately find yourselves singing along with the middle one of these, and vies with ‘Marrianne’ as the finest of all these great songs. As an album I have seen it quite properly described as “a British AOR gem ready for you to discover”…

‘Time Stands Still’ bolts straight out of the trap (also reprised at the end as title track ‘Time Stood Still’) and one is not only captivated by the enhancement brought about by the improved production values, but also by the much better balance between keyboards and guitars, not to mention the drums, of course! ‘Tracks…’ has wonderful songs; but ‘Time…’ has AMAZING and more consistent songs, which come tumbling out of your speakers in quick succession following the sparkling opener and segue into one another… ‘Innocence’, ‘I Know What You’re Searching For’, ‘Here I Am’….all of them magnificent, coruscating slabs of melodic rock, and each different from one another. Next, the sensitive ballad ‘Fight To Survive’ is arguably the most captivating vocal performance on either album.

Look, I’m not going to continue with this track by track analysis. If you haven’t got the message yet, you never will! This is an unexpected opportunity to purchase two melodic rock gems from over 15 years ago at normal prices. Go get…

Paul Jerome Smith

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