Here we have Part 2 of the Harlan Cage story, with DMT being the follow-up to their self titled debut released two years earlier.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Harlan Cage
ALBUM: Double Medication Tuesday
LABEL: MTM Music
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: L.A (Larry) Greene – vocals * Roger Scott Craig – keyboards * Billy Liesegang – guitars * Jamie Carter – bass * Michael Lawrence – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Blow Wind Blow * 02 Halfway Home * 03 Lola’s In Love * 04 Solitary Dance * 05 My Mama Said * 06 Dearborn Station * 07 Defend This Heart Of Mine * 08 Restless Hearts * 09 Lights Out For Losers * 10 As You Are * 11 Turn Up The Radio * 12 Joker On The Kings Road
We follow the fortunes (excuse the pun) of the collaboration of Messrs Greene and Craig. Here we have Part 2 of the Harlan Cage story, with DMT being the follow-up to their self titled debut released two years earlier. Of course all well respected melodic rockers remember these two cohorts from the band Fortune who released that fantastic slice of pomp rock back in 1985 (reviewed elsewhere on the site).
Since then, they have been involved with various projects and musical associations, until seriously getting their act together for the Harlan Cage gig and a deal with MTM Music Records. The debut is a wonderful album too, and encompasses some great moments of true AOR. For this their second album, there’s more of the same but also a heavier element shining through, especially in the upfront guitarwork of Liesegang.
Mix this heavier approach with Craig’s keyboard thematics and bombast, and we get a potent package of pomp rock. It’s compelling listening, and though the lyrics make for some obtuse reading at times (sorry Larry no offense, but sometimes I can’t make sense of what the actual tale is about), the music certainly doesn’t.
The opening brace of songs ‘Blow Wind Blow’, ‘Halfway Home’ and the superb ‘Lola’s In Love’ all stand tall, and emphasise the guitar/keyboard crunch now being pursued by Harlan Cage. I rather liked ‘Solitary Dance’ which reminds me heaps of the track ‘One Naked Kiss’ from the debut. Wonderfully atmospheric.
‘My Mama Said’ is a dramatic affair with minor keys being the predominant theme on the keyboards. Another superb track is ‘Lights Out For Losers’, a dramatic storytelling episode of what appears to be rebellious youth. The ballad ‘As You Are’ is a change-up moment, sounding more akin to the 70’s band Firefall, but hey that’s not a bad thing ’cause the song sounds sort of laid back.
My favourite track would have to be ‘Joker On The Kings Highway’. It’s more guitar rock oriented and less pompous and builds nicely from a quiet piano introduction. Elsewhere we get another rendition of the Fortune classic ‘Dearborn Station’, perhaps not as good as the original in my opinion, but that’s me!
So there you have it. You can’t go wrong with the class of Greene and Craig’s combined talents. Added to this the vented fury of Liesegang’s guitar playing, who appears to be gathering a reputation as a solid player in melodic rock circles. Thus Harlan Cage have become one of the new heroes of the melodic rock scene.