Steve Hunter - 'Before The Lights Go Out'

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Steve Hunter - 'Before The Lights Go Out'

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this work and I think it is an album that Steve Hunter can be very proud of.

Steve Hunter will likely be best known to those older Alice Cooper fans; he was the guy drafted in to play lead guitar for the band in the seventies when original member, the late Glenn Buxton, was unable to continue due to his ensuing problems at the time.

Quite often in cases like this, the material provided by the components more often than not bears little or no resemblance to that of the complete ensemble. To be honest, I wasn't expecting 'Elected', 'Billion Dollar Babies' or 'I Love The Dead'... or anything like that. In fact, I wasn't expecting anything much at all really. However, what I got was a nice surprise, as I found myself listening to a very accomplished and entertaining album.

There is a lot of variety on here, from the Hank Marvin-sounding 'Summer's Eve', the Eastern/Indian/Steve Hackett-like 'Under The Bodhi Tree', to the Joe Satriani style of 'Softtail Deuce' and the David Gilmour-flavoured 'Ice Storm'. 'Mojo Man' features some accomplished wah-wah soloing and is a tune that just encourages you to move, while the acoustic-based 'Cinderblock' contains some Deep South slide guitar. Reggae even makes an appearance during 'Tienes Mi Corazón You Have My Heart)' and 12-bar is the basis of 'The Other Side Of The Coin'.

There is a very sad side to this album, something that is expressed in both the title and album artwork, and that is the fact that Hunter is unfortunately going blind. The last track on this offering, 'Happy Trails', has the only vocals found on the album – performed by Karen Hunter – and the words sound like those of a farewell, which makes the track very moving.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this work and I think it is an album that Steve Hunter can be very proud of.

Andy Brailsford

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