Fireworks

Houston - 'Houston' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/af/1b/8b/906_houstonhouston_1295378602.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 18, 2011    
 
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A must buy purchase for all lovers of quality 80's AOR.

With the resurgence of so many eighties style bands in the past twelve months I was really looking forward to sampling the debut offering by Swedish 'AORsters' Houston, who have just recently signed a licensing deal with Universal V2 / Spinefarm records and will be releasing this special two bonus track release in early December. Produced by AOR / Westcoast guru 'Ricky Delin' , it features Hampus Hank on lead vocals and Freddie Allen on drums, together with guest musicians Mats Olausson (Yngwie Malmsteen) on keyboards, guitar God Tommy Denander and Thomas Vikstrom (Talk of the Town) on backing vocals. 

On first listen this album instantly jumped out at me as being a slice of prime time mid eighties AOR, with snippets of seventies pomp rock thrown in for good measure, and fans of Survivor, Styx, Journey and REO Speedwagon will absolutely love this release. Vocal wise, Hampus Hank sounds very similar to Rob Moratti (on the excellent Final Frontier releases) and being a massive Survivor fan, tracks like 'Pride', 'I'm Alive' and 'Misery', with their slick vocals and multi-layered keyboards and guitars, are truly superb. The two stand out tracks for me, 'Truth Slips' and 'Hold On' (which incidentally are the bands first two single releases) are simply stunning. My personal favourite 'Truth Slips' (check out the hook and chorus) is an immense track and I'm convinced if this had been released as a single in 1984 it would have been a US Top Ten hit, it's that good. First single 'Hold On' features great guitar work from Tommy Denander and together with the soaring backing vocals could have featured on the Survivor classic 'Vital Signs'.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Tracks like 'Give Me Back My Heart', 'She's A Mystery' and 'Now' further highlight the quality harmonies and hook laden choruses on offer. Up tempo rocker 'I'm Alive' could have come off the Rocky IV Soundtrack, and even the mid-tempo tracks '1000 Songs' and 'Misery' feature catchy melodies and uplifting rhythms. Finally, bringing the album to a close are bonus tracks 'Under Your Skin', with its unmistakable eighties Westcoast feel, great chorus and excellent keyboard work, together with the upbeat 'Chasing The Dream' which features an awesome guitar intro, fantastic harmonies and smooth vocals, which are worth the purchase price alone.

So there you have it, a very fine debut offering, Houston is a must buy purchase for all lovers of quality 80's AOR.

Mark Warburton

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  • Rocktopia Te : @kbm1983: Currently, all orders have to be be processed manually. This could take a few hours. Sorry for the delay, you shoulkd have received a mail containing download instructions by now. @ all: Pls. do not worry in case you see a PayPal transaction error message. Your order was received, pls. do not order the magazine twice. Many thanks for your understanding!
  • kbm1983 : Hi, I bought #91 earlier today but its still not in my downloads. Can you check it out please. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @ Man Shaped Wolf: You should have received a mail containing download instructions yesterday. Sorry for the delay!
  • Man Shaped W : Hey, same as defron but for 91 :) excited to read our review
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  • Defron : Hi guys. Bought #90 couples of hours ago but still not in my downloads . Can you check pls regards Ro
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  • rarock : Hi there. I have similar problem with Issue 90, payed by Paypal, but doesnt show in Orders or in Downloads. Thanks for help
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  • Johns Band : Royal Hunt new concept album in the works to be released in 2020.
  • Berny : @WardyS1: I will contact you by e - mail.
  • WardyS1 : Hi. Also purchased 90 couple days back but not in my orders have receipt. Cannot find an email to contact instead link sorry
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  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
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  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???

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