CD Reviews

Walk On Fire - 'Mind Over Matter' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 28, 2017    
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If late eighties, early nineties AOR is your thing, then you'll love this album; it's pure class.

Walk On Fire's debut, 'Blind Faith', hit the shelves in 1989. After gigging it into the ground, with over one hundred live dates, the band went into the studio to record album number two. Then it happened; Grunge hit and, of course, the rest is history. The record company, according to guitarist/keyboardist Dave Cairns, immediately lost interest in the band itself and the Melodic Rock/AOR genre in general, looking instead for the next Pearl Jam and sadly this caused WOF and MCA to go their separate ways.

Despite the above historical situation, this wasn't the end of the story because it turns out that the band had actually recorded a set of songs (on DAT tapes) for this second album; these only surfaced after the sad death of the group's guitarist Mike Casswell (Brian May, Queen) late last year. Cairns deciding to dig them out, dust them off and try to see if anyone was interested in putting them out as a tribute to Casswell. Enter Escape Music who had heard about this fabled second album, they contacted Cairns forthwith to see if he would be interested in putting the songs out as a new album, and here we have the answer.

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So what do these twenty year old (and then some) demos sound like? To be brutally honest with you, they sound bloody marvellous and for songs recorded so long ago, there's actually a freshness and up to date feel to each of them that belies their age. Just give opening cut and title track 'Mind Over Matter' a blast and you'll find yourself in the company of a band who knew/know how to write classy sounding AOR with melodies aplenty. They then follow this wonderful start with more of the same, in the shape of 'Spinning Wheel', 'Pleasure Of Pain' the superb 'Reign Down' (clearly an AOR song of its time, and yet one that also sounds like it was written yesterday), the smooth 'Long Live Love', where singer Alan King shows just what a loss to the Melodic Rock world he is, 'The Price Of Love' and 'Drag Me Down'.

In short, it's a great shame that an album of such quality was shelved and that it took the sad death of Casswell for it to resurface. That said, if late eighties, early nineties AOR is your thing, then you'll love this album; it's pure class.

Ian Johnson

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