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Melodic Rock Round-up: October 2010

Dave Ling on new releases from Two Fires, Issa, Only Child, Bangalore Choir and Kens Dojo

Two Fires: Burning Bright

Forever associated with Journey thanks to a spell replacing Steve Perry in 1994, also membership of the breakaway group The Storm alongside Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory and Steve Smith, one knows what to expect from a keeper of the flame such as Kevin Chalfant. Joined by a brand new set of musicians – co-founding guitarist and former The Storm band-mate Josh Ramos a notable absentee – for this third Two Fires album, the much-travelled former 707/Shooting Star/Alan Parsons Project singer has nevertheless come up with the musical goods once more. Characterised by hearty lead vocals, hummable hooks and soaring guitars, material such as Lost In The Song and Shattered Without You offer affectionate echoes of the melodic rock scene’s golden era. The ultimate validation of Two Fires’ return is a co-write with Rolie and Neal Schon on the mid-paced mastery of Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid. (810)

Issa: Sign Of Angels

The debut album from 26-year-old Norwegian singer Isabell Oversveen is a glacier-cool, mirror-smooth slice of Scandi-rock that has already been compared to Brother Firetribe jamming with Treat. If you are someone who considers the blurring of the barriers between pop and rock a good thing, then this is the album for you. (710)

Only Child: Only Child

Released way back in 1988, Only Child’s debut was a vehicle for vocalist, guitarist, composer and producer Paul Sabu. Rammed with top-quality material such as Just Ask, I Wanna Touch and I Believe In You, it’s regarded among the very finest records of the genre. Now re-mastered and featuring two bonus tracks. (910)

Bangalore Choir: Cadence

Formed by vocalist David Reece after his expulsion from Accept, Bangalore Choir’s debut album, 1992’s On Target, under-performed despite featuring material by Jon Bon Jovi, Aldo Nova and Autograph’s Steve Plunkett. Its creators reunited for this year’s Firefest and Cadence splendidly reheats the hard-meets-hooky elements that brought the debut such cult status. (710)

Kens Dojo: Reincarnation

Glenn Hughes, Ken Hensley, Tommy LaVerdi of 21 Guns, TNT’s Morty Black and… er… Chesney Hawkes are among the guests on this surprisingly enjoyable solo album from judo-obsessed former Evenrude/Rags/Speed/Street Legal guitarist Ken Ingwersen (hence the name). Though sometimes a little disjointed, when it’s good it really hits the spot. (610)