In common with other Frontiers "projects", Roth Brock Project isn't perfect, but it is illuminated with flashes of inspiration.
Giant's 'Promised Land', arguably one of the most underrated and overlooked Melodic Rock albums of the new millennium, received a lukewarm reception largely down to the fact that the band's pivotal founding member, vocalist & guitarist Dann Huff, chose to step aside in favour of his vastly more lucrative career as a Country music producer – leaving just the rhythm section of his brother David (drums) and bassist Mike Brignardello remaining.
Enter Terry Brock (Strangeways) and John Roth (Winger) on vocals and guitar respectively. Whilst replacing the irreplaceable (listen to Giant's debut 'Last Of The Runaways' for irrefutable proof) was always an impossible task, the resulting album nevertheless exceeded the expectations of this most discerning fan. While the towering Giant seems to have finally toppled, that experience created a lasting musical bond between Brock and Roth (the latter handling all instrumentation apart from drums on 'Roth Brock Project').
'Young Gun' kicks off with Roth delivering an Eddie Van Halen-reminiscent, tightly-picked riff overlaid with a delectable lead guitar run, though whilst the ingredients for a strong opener are present, it's ultimately just an opening act for the barnstorming second track. 'What's It To Ya' is the album's standout number and, with a pulsating swing groove, it immediately brings to mind Giant, while the audacious mid-section combines a 'Kashmir'-like rhythmic instrumental passage with a 'Cherry Pie' style Rap, courtesy of Roth.
Brock excels on 'If That's What It Takes' – he's undoubtedly one of the best current US Rock vocalists – while 'Young Again' and its amusingly self-deprecating lyrics about ageing demonstrates that these Southern gents don't take themselves too seriously. 'We Are' opens with a menacing Dokken-esque strut while Roth shared with me that 'Distant Voices' is a heartfelt tribute to Jimi Jamison and Fergie Frederiksen.
In common with other Frontiers "projects" (Sweet & Lynch, Revolution Saints, etc.) Roth Brock Project isn't perfect, but it is illuminated with flashes of inspiration – and in '...Ya', it's served up one of my favourite tracks of 2016.