It’s an all star assembly with the band Black Swan, bought to life by the honchos at Frontiers Music and bassist/producer Jeff Pilson, the lineup is a stroke of genius.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Black Swan
ALBUM: Shake The World
SERIAL: FRCD 1012
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Robin McAuley – vocals * Reb Beach – guitars * Jeff Pilson – bass, keyboards * Matt Starr – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Shake The World * 02 Big Disaster * 03 Johnny Came Marching * 04 Immortal Souls * 05 Make It There * 06 She’s On To Us * 07 The Rock That Rolled Away * 08 Long Road To Nowhere * 09 Sacred Place * 10 Unless We Change * 11 United/Divided
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It’s an all star assembly bought to life by the honchos at Frontiers Music and bassist/producer Jeff Pilson. The Black Swan lineup is a stroke of genius as the melting pot is rich and there’s lots of tasty morsels on offer.
Pilson and Reb Beach had played together in Dokken for four years previously, so knew each other well. But the glue to holding this band together is Robin McAuley. The 66 y.o Irishman belies his age with a vocal performance for the ages. He makes others like Coverdale, Osbourne and Tyler seem like absolute geriatrics.
No mucking about. Let’s rip into it. The title tracks kicks off with some tub thumping bass before McAuley drives the car with a Dio inspired delivery. ‘Big Disaster’ is more of a stomp rocker with attitude whereas ‘Johnny Came Marching’ is a grinder with a hint of a regimented structure. Both powerful tracks.
‘Immortal Souls’ touches 6 minutes, with everybody doing their bit to hold it together. ‘Make It There’ is the first ballad in the vein of 80’s era Whitesnake and it’s rather good I’ll admit. The cranky ‘She’s On To Us’ makes for a good listen (thank god I don’t have a girlfriend!) while ‘The Rock That Rolled Away’ is probably one of the highlights of the album for me so far.
Toward the end of the album now. ‘Sacred Place’ leans toward a milder form of melodic rock, ‘Unless We Change’ with its deceptive u-turn from the symphonic intro to hard rock makes for an interesting listen, while ‘United/Divided’ finishes up as a tender piano oriented ballad.
No two ways about it, Black Swan are onto something here. World class musicianship always helps. A good range of material though some of the tracks are a bit long. Keeping them shorter would assist our attention/impatience deprived listeners no end. For those who want to hear a superior vocal performance, some typical OTT guitar playing from Reb and a thudding rhythm section, this is an album to investigate.
Shake The World
Make It There