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Strangers - 'Survival' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/73/c1/ed/strangers-survival-68-1456428492.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 25, 2016    
 
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These guys put some passionate heat into a genre that otherwise would result in being too sober and academic.

Strangers were formed in March 2010 in Madrid, thanks to the inspiration of Miguel Martin (guitar), who was basically the agent provocateur of this ambitious project that also features Oscar O'Brien on vocals, Carlos Jimenez (keyboards), Carlos R. Garcia (bass) and Abel Ramos (drums).

This is a band that can compete with any of the acts that rule the AOR field today, most of which are from Northern Europe. These guys put some passionate heat into a genre that otherwise would result in being too sober and academic. Of course, there's a cheesy side on this album which is undeniable, but, on the other hand, there's also a lot of enthusiasm that is absolutely tangible and genuine.

Their style reminded me of the great Spanish AOR/Melodic Rock tradition made – almost – famous by bands like Sangre Azul and Niagara, but there are catchy signs of primordial Bon Jovi ('Venom'), Treat ('Angel') and even some Dare/Def Leppard/Bad English combinations ('Stand By').

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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When talking about the weak points of this album, 'Heroes' and 'Burning Within' are great Hard Rockers, although they show some naivety in the rhythm section in my opinion. I might also have avoided including a ballad like 'Forever'; it's a little bit too sickly sweet and flat, especially after a couple of lovely moments like 'Angel' and '...By'.

It's also true that this is just their second album and they look pretty young so naivety is more than welcome here. Moreover, surely the two opening singles sound absolutely beautiful and winning; '...Stop' gets straight to the heart with those positive vibes ala H.e.a.t and that majestic keyboard/guitar pace, not to mention the uplifting 'Dreamer' where the production of expert Ángel Muñoz is emphasized the most.

I truly believe and hope this band will improve a lot in the future because they have a lot of ideas and notes in their minds, they just need to put them together in order to create something more cohesive and charming. Because AOR is basically all about charm... melody alone is not enough.

Enrico Navella

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