Now signed with the fledgling Swedish label Atenzia, Harlan Cage are a flagship band on a label representing the best that melodic rock/AOR can deliver.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Harlan Cage
ALBUM: Temple Of Tears
SERIAL: ATZ 02001
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: L.A (Larry) Greene – vocals * Roger Scott Craig – keyboards, vocals
Additional Musicians: Michael Turner – guitars * Billy Liesegang – guitars * Uri Yamato – bass * Hans Fleder – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Any Port In A Storm * 02 Wooden Cross * 03 On The Nickel * 04 Just A Face In The Rain * 05 One New York Morning * 06 In My Neighborhood * 07 Deep In The Heart Of The Night * 08 Sin City * 09 As You Fly * 10 Later Than You Know * 11 We Belong
The duo that is Harlan Cage (and ex Fortuneand Big City members) Messrs Greene and Craig return with their fourth dose of melodic mayhem for all the AOR purists out there in ‘never never land’.
Now signed with the fledgling Swedish label Atenzia, Harlan Cage are a flagship band on a label representing the best that melodic rock/AOR can deliver. With MTM Music’s move towards heavier climes, it seems the cohesion between Harlan Cage and the powers ‘that be’ at Atenzia was a natural one – and is a good fit considering the roster they have onboard now.
It seems that some things don’t change with time concerning Harlan Cage. The music is still awesome, the keyboards still OTT from Roger, and the lyrics as ‘esoteric’ as always from Larry. I’m sure if I sat down with the man for a beer or two, these lyrical ramblings would make sense to me.
For what its worth, I enjoyed the challenge, and the way the words unfold with the music is intriguing to me nonetheless. From my perspective, all the prior efforts that have gone before (and reviewed elsewhere here at Glory Daze) are excellent. We don’t take any backward steps with ‘Temple Of Tears’. The guys seem to be getting better with age, as the songs testify – melodic, pure, and well produced.
Slap on the track ‘Just A Face In The Rain’ and hear the simplistic genius at work. How can a song with such a straight forward structure sound like a million dollars? Not only will this appeal to the AOR brigade but even today’s modern rock audience. It segues into the dramatic entrance of ‘One New York Morning’, surely a reflection on the events of Sept 11 – ‘eyes blood red, between the tears and the cigarettes, as the world came tumbling down one New York morning’.
The pace increases during the night-time adrenalin that is ‘In My Neighbourhood’ – grunty guitars (killer dive-bomb solos) and keyboard layers. A Fortune cover rears it head here (as they’ve tended to do on past albums), with ‘Deep In The Heart Of The Night’ getting a 2002 makeover – resplendent with parping keyboards circa 1985. I wonder what cover will appear on the next album?
Check out the pulsing AOR that is ‘Later Than You Know’ – and wonder why we don’t hear music this good on radio anymore. Combine this with the excellence of ‘Any Port In The Storm’ and the hard rockin’ ‘Wooden Cross’ and you know we’re onto a good thing.
With eleven tracks on offer, it’s a good tight collection. I won’t muck about with explanations. There ain’t nothing wrong with the state of melodic rock right now. First Harem Scarem, now Harlan Cage turn up to the party with a decent album.
A continuation of their earlier efforts, but know also they’ve come a long way since ’96’s debut. They’re better musicians and songwriters – something that Larry and Roger will undoubtedly remind you of I’m sure.