A rediscovered beauty from the late 80’s by Philly band Network which sees comparisons to Signal, Valentine and Velocity.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Crashin’ Hollywood
LABEL: AOR Heaven/Point Music
SERIAL: Point 10091
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Larry Baud – vocals * Mark Eskey – guitars * Greg Cellini – keyboards * Mark Evans – bass * Jim Drnec – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Break Away * 02 Love’s Gonna Get Ya * 03 Shine On * 04 Breakin’ My Heart * 05 Rock Me * 06 Tell Me Why * 07 Love Won’t Wait * 08 Suzanne * 09 Chance Of A Lifetime * 10 Crashin’ Hollywood * 11 Christina * 12 No Place Like Home
Sort of a posthumous release this one, some ten years after the event, but well worth the resurrection if not for the sheer talent on show with this band. Network is primarily the brainchild of guitarist and principal songwriter Mark Eskey, and gradually over time and through various associations with different musicians around the Philadelphia area, the band took shape.
Baud’s reputation as a fearsome vocalist stood before him, and he had appeared briefly with early 80’s melodic rockers USA. Evans was also involved with Heavens Edge around about the same time during the 1989/90 period. Though these tracks were recorded in 1989, they never officially saw the light of day at the time.
Rumour of demo’s circulated for years until interest was sparked enough for Mark Eskey to put them up as MP3’s on MP3.COM in 1999. And thus a second life was breathed into the Network material, enough for the team over at AOR Heaven to warrant putting this out as an official album in 1999.
On to the material then. Well it’s all you could expect from a band peddling a sound which sees comparisons made to Signal, Valentine, and Velocity.
The guitars are strong, and the ever present keyboards of Cellini permeate throughout, whether they be layers or counter-melodies. Album opener ‘Break Away’ kicks off in similar fashion to Signal, with a guitar line in which Danny Jacob would be proud of.
‘Love’s Gonna Get Ya’ has a early 80’s strut a la Helix, with Baud sounding very much like Graham Bonnet on this one. A couple of fantastic hook laden ballads appear next in the form of ‘Shine On’ and the awesome ‘Breakin’ My Heart’. Pick the bones out of these two and you’ll hear all the very best influences in melodic rock. The simply titled ‘Rock Me’ is fuelled by a Valentine like sound, while ‘Tell Me Why’ has a harder guitar edge.
‘Love Won’t Wait’ sees Mark Eskey pulling some guitar runs a la Ronnie le Tekro (TNT) before we venture into another melodic slower moment titled ‘Suzanne’. ‘Chance Of A Lifetime’ is a rocker in the mould of Velocity while perhaps the track most out of place here is the title track ‘Crashin’ Hollywood’ full of brass parps and chant along choruses.
Not sure where we go from here with Network as a going concern, considering that we’ve moved on ten years and the guys are all doing different things. However, I am sure that with the renewed interest in Network, combined with Mark Eskey’s musical passion, and a chance to put together some fresh material, we might well see more from this exciting prospect.