Paul Sabu is always a popular draw at GDM, but this latest beastie ‘Banshee’ might put certain reputations at risk.
Written by: gdmonline
SERIAL: FRCD 1280
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Paul Sabu – vocals, all instruments * Barry Sparks – backing vocals, all instruments
TRACK LISTING: 01 Blinded Me * 02 Banshee * 03 Kandi * 04 Love Don’t Shatter * 05 Back Side Of Water * 06 Skin To Skin * 07 Rock * 08 Turn The Radio On * 09 Dirty Money * 10 Midnight Road To Madness * 11 Rock The House
Paul Sabu is always a popular draw at GDM, as he is a bit of a demigod in the hard rock industry, both as a performer and producer. The mere presence of the many articles we’ve written about the man is testament to that fact. In late 2022, Paul has hooked up with Frontiers SRL for what is his first release for the Italian label. On ‘Banshee’ Paul collaborates with renowned bassist Barry Sparks (MSG, Dokken, Leatherwolf etc), releasing a powerful statement of intent that only he can deliver. But will it strike home?, That is the big question.
From the outset, ‘Banshee’ is a tough sounding record but still with enough grit and edge to make it interesting. Lead off track ‘Blinded Me’ opens with a flurry of guitar splashes, it’s a likeable excursion if slightly rough around the edges. The title track ‘Banshee’ is a twisted maelstrom of melodic rock, with its tortured vocals and thumping bass lines, it certainly shows Sabu in a different light.
‘Kandi’ is the first single and video from the album (see video below), far more melodic and appealing I’d suggest, though the solo did wander all over the soundscape. Paul and Barry return to that thumping form of hard rock heard earlier but this time with ‘Love Don’t Shatter’. There’s no delicacy to be found on the dark alleyways of love with this tune. ‘Back Side Of Water’ continues the tough as a hombre delivery, by now if you were hoping for some Only Child goodness then you’re probably on the wrong bus.
‘Skin To Skin’ delves into darker themes, there is even a rock/rap thing going on mid section. Gulp. ‘Rock’ is a brief title which tries hard (perhaps too hard) but the overall effect is grating, sorry to say. Finally, a bit of aural relief with ‘Turn The Radio On’. My ears have been relieved somewhat. Next to ‘Kandi’ it’s the next best track and that’s saying something.
‘Dirty Money’ goes in a slightly different direction, a jangly rocker with a slight Southern tinge, definitely different. ‘Midnight Road To Madness’ sneaks into the top 3 tracks on the album, but that’s not really a stunning endorsement. ‘Rock The House’ is the uptempo rocker on the album, sounding quite good even if it took the last track to hear it.
If you were bought up on a diet of early Sabu, Kidd Glove and the aforementioned Only Child, then I really couldn’t recommend ‘Banshee’ for a comparable listen. There is absolutely nothing onboard this album to get you salivating over past Sabu glories. The ‘Banshee’ record should be available online, but don’t let that be an incentive. I’ve seen most of the songs featured as video clips on YouTube, plus it’s on the most popular streaming platforms. Check it at your peril.
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