Fireworks

Danielz and Tara Zara - 'Behind The Mask' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/1b/60/e1/964_Danielzandtarazarebehindthemask_1296948863.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 05, 2011    
 
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The history of rock is littered with bands that with hindsight deserved much better than they got, Tarazara were one of those that should.

During the mid eighties Tarazara came tantalisingly close to hitting the big time. With the backing of Dennis Stratton (Iron Maiden) they had produced some well received demos, had offers of a record deal on the table from FM Revolver and Atlantic and also managed to appear on national TV through Channel 4's short lived (and slightly misguided) rock music show 'ECT'. Somehow though, none of these near misses actually gave the band the breakthrough they had worked extremely hard for and up until Angel Air Records intervened, these seventeen tracks had never been officially available to buy. Looking through the accompanying CD booklet, there's no doubt that Danielz & Tarazara were aiming to cash in on the Glam scene of the time however once you actually start to listen to the music, a far more keyboard based AOR sound is what is found. Think of a cross between Outside Edge and Tobruk and you won't be far away from the poppy hooks and keyboard dominated themes that are to found here. Jeff Williams' guitar does at times vie for supremacy with Andy Streets keys, but more often than not he is more content to punctuate the thick melodies with little runs and motifs that embellish, rather than insist on top billing. Danielz himself has a strong voice, with a decent range, although he is prone to warble a little too much for my taste.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The first nine songs presented here really would have made for quite a tasty poppy AOR album with crossover potential that could have seen Tarazara make an impact on the mainstream. However having chosen the wrong record deal (the band plumped for Atlantic, who at the last moment pulled the plug on the deal and by then FM Revolver's interest had waned) and beginning to feel that their chance for success was passing them by, the decision was taken to drop any real rock pretentions the band had and with an engineer who had worked with The Blow Monkeys behind the desk an altogether more pop sound was settled on. The resultant demos, which make up the majority of the second half of this album are still well crafted songs, however they lack any bite whatsoever and truth be told hold little interest. Ironically the final two songs are those taken from the band's 'ECT' performance and show just how much heavier and more effective Tarazara were on stage and whilst both 'Behind The Mask' and 'Fantasy' are also available as studio tracks on this disc, the live version are far more vibrant and memorable.

The history of rock is littered with bands that with hindsight deserved much better than they got, but thanks to the likes of Angel Air Records we are now beginning to get the chance to assess which ones really should have become household names. Judging by the nine studio tracks and two live songs, Tarazara were one of those that should.

Steven Reid

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