Melodic Rock Round-up: June 2012

Dave Ling on new releases from Trixter, Luley, George Gakis & Very Special Friends, Bangalore Choir and Dakota

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Trixter: New Audio Machine

Trixter registered a significant artistic development with their second album, 1992’s Hear!, but with the change in the musical landscape of the time, it failed to match the sales of their debut, and the New Jersey band called it a day three years later. Following a reunion of their original line-up in 2007, Trixter are yet to play in Britain, but there have been numerous glowing reports of their US gigs. Nevertheless, brave was the man who predicted the full-on excellence of New Audio Machine. Yes, against all the odds, Trixter’s first new album of original songs in 20 years is something of a revelation. Like Hear!, New Audio Machine oozes sugar-coated ditties. Including tunes co-written by Skid Row’s Rachel Bolan and Styx’s Glen Burtnik, the likes of Get It On, Dirty Love and Save Your Soul will have the listener grinning like a loon. There’s an unmistakable sense of joyous gratitude here, and Trixter have clearly grabbed their second chance with both hands. (910)

Luley: Today’s Tomorrow

It’s great to hear from Klaus Luley again after an absence of almost two decades. Probably best remembered as the man behind the 1980s band Craaft, the German singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter brings many recognisable traits to this admirably constructed solo record. Also included is a re-recorded version of Tokyo, the signature song of his other noteworthy group of the same name. (810)

George Gakis & Very Special Friends: Too Much Ain’t Never Enough

Although Gakis is backed here by a cast that includes Joe Lynn Turner, Bobby Rondinelli, James Kottak and the Alice Cooper Band’s Greg Smith (and Kip Winger co-produces), sadly the album sometimes sounds laboured, but the title song is a creditable, Whitesnake 1987-style stomper. (610)

Bangalore Choir: Metaphor

Bangalore Choir were formed 20 years ago following David Reece’s dismissal from Accept. The American singer managed to gradually restore his reputation with Sircle Of Silence and Gypsy Rose before Bangalore Choir’s return two years ago. Metaphor, their second reunion album, is a cultured slice of melodic hard rock that falls just short of being heavy metal. (710)

Dakota: Runaway

Originally released in 1984, Runaway was the second (and final) album from Dakota, an American duo with strong connections to the band Chicago. Much like Dakota’s self-titled debut, which was also newly remastered by Rock Candy, it sold in extremely small quantities, although its pure-AOR strains remain treasured by devotees of Survivor, Mr Mister and early Bon Jovi. (910)

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.