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Shea Roxi - '1988' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/1b/bb/50/shea-roxi-1988-76-1397933351.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 19, 2014    
 
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Reveals another good band from the true home of AOR who fully understood the genre.

In this issue* I seem to be reviewing a lot of retrospectives from bands who didn't quite make it as far as a full album release in their heyday, and here's another one from the eighties that doesn't count as a re-issue on account of that sad fact. Concord, California natives Shea Roxi existed from the middle of that decade until the early nineties when media and record companies convinced a multitude of bands like them that they were wasting their time. Put together by guitarist Adam Molinar Jr and vocalist Rob Schroeder, the band that play on this collection of demos is completed by keyboard player Stephen Salinas, bassist Steve Nystrom and former Anvil Chorus drummer Joey Bennett, although the punchy 'Mystery At Midnight' pre-dates everything else and features Bennett's predecessor Sammy Van Horn.

With an impressive AOR/Melodic Hard Rock remit similar to Night Ranger, Journey and Danger Danger, Shea Roxi left a legacy that includes quite a few good songs, but like the UK's Peroux (reviewed elsewhere) their cassette-based origins will probably lose them a proportion of their intended audience. Like a lot of bands of this ilk, Shea Roxi's earlier demos were their rockiest and most lively, with the sublime 'Cryin' Eyes', the driving beat of 'Makin' Me Crazy' and the nicely arranged 'My World Is Changing' transcending the flat sound by having energy and enthusiasm in abundance, whilst the Journey-ish 'I Got What You Want' and subtle 'Can't Hide Love' are ballads that show Schroeder's vocal prowess to the full.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The catchy 'Wild Girl' borrows its intro from Great White's 'Rock Me', whilst five songs recorded under the auspices of 'Raised On Radio' co-producer Jim Gaines show a band moving in a more commercial direction, from the infectious Pop/Rocker 'Somebody Like You' and lively version of the Van Stephenson classic 'Fistful Of Heat', to the keyboard-led pomp of 'Angel', 'Anyway To Treat' and the exquisite 'Fortune And Fame'. A rough live version of 'My World Is Changing' would seem to indicate that they were a very good live band, so it's sad that these songs were never properly recorded.

Despite the poor sound quality, '1988' reveals another good band from the true home of AOR who fully understood the genre and those little instrumental and arrangement touches that make good songs into great ones, and with Rob Evans revealing in his sleeve notes that the five members have reformed, maybe we'll get that properly recorded album over a quarter of a century after Shea Roxi intended.

Phil Ashcroft

(* Fireworks Magazine 62)

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