Alcatrazz rebounded from the loss of Yngwie J Malmsteen and promptly replaced him with another guitar wizard, Steve Vai for this very good 1985 effort.
Written by: Dangerzone
ALBUM: Disturbing The Peace
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Graham Bonnet – vocals * Steve Vai – guitars * Jimmy Waldo – keyboards * Gary Shea – bass * Jan Uvena – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 God Blessed Video * 02 Mercy * 03 Will You Be Home Tonight * 04 Wire And Wood * 05 Desert Diamond * 06 Stripper * 07 Painted Lover * 08 Lighter Shade Of Green * 09 Sons And Lovers * 10 Skyfire * 11 Breaking The Heart Of The City
Alcatrazz rebounded from the loss of Yngwie J Malmsteen and promptly replaced him with another guitar wizard, Steve Vai for this very good 1985 effort. Vai had previously been playing with Frank Zappa‘s band. How Bonnet tempted him to join Alcatrazz is a mystery but he at least helped them record a startling hard rock album.
AOR shadings are always present in the Alcatrazz sound, mainly in their melodic guitar and keyboard solo’s. Bonnet is too much of a rocker to be strictly AOR thankfully. This was miles ahead of the ragged debut, Vai and Bonnet composing all but three songs themselves.
It is impossible when listening to this not to think of either Vai’s later work in the David Lee Roth Band or Bonnet’s time in Rainbow or MSG. Their styles are so identifiable with both acts that the sound is an agreeable combination of the two. ‘God Blessed Video’ is scathing in lyrical content, Bonnet tearing into the fake glam rockers of the decade. A great video too.
Musically there is an abundance of synths and a vast array of trickery from Vai. ‘Will You Be Home Tonight’ starts off as a ballad, but turns up the heaviness in developing a vehicle for Bonnet’s gruff vocals. ‘Wire And Wood’ is a street-gang anthem, suitably hard rocking for such a theme. Bonnet nails perfectly the feeling of teenage anger, a good tough delivery.
‘Stripper’ is a speedy blur with lightning fast work from Vai. This could be classified as metal, based on 80’s thinking (I say it is, then and now). ‘Painted Lover’ sounds like a cut off Roth’s ‘Eat ‘Em And Smile’, showing how heavy Vai’s influence was in the direction of both bands.
This and ‘Sons And Lovers’ have radio friendly choruses, but Vai is the man shining by this point. His fills are timely and well placed. Bonnet compliments him with one of the best efforts of his long career. These are just a few highlights of a near perfect album.
This Alcatrazz lineup was far superior to the Malmsteen one and David Lee Roth must have liked what he heard, snapping up Vai for his debut solo album a year later. Bonnet recruited another six stringer, Danny Johnson for one further album 1986’s ‘Dangerous Games’, but the damage was done. This is just another solid hard rock moment to fall by the wayside over the years. For fans of Bonnet and Vai this is a must have, but also for all melodic rockers in general.
God Blessed Video
Entire Album (Select Tracks)