A return to form by one of the darlings of early 90’s AOR – Shotgun Symphony.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Shotgun Symphony
ALBUM: Sea Of Desire
LABEL: Frontiers/Pulse Records
SERIAL: FRCD 036
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Tracy White – vocals * Mike Maino – guitars * Charlie Calv – keyboards * Ed Avila – bass * Ron Sivulich Jr – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Sea Of Desire * 02 Believe In Me * 03 Dancing On Fire * 04 SOS * 05 Heart Of Glass * 06 What I Wouldn’t Give * 07 The Way That You Feel * 08 Phases * 09 Inside Out * 10 Between The Eyes (Eyes Of Anger Part II)
WEBLINKS: Site Link
A return to form by one of the great hopes of the 90’s. Shotgun Symphony were one of the very first signings to the Now And Then label by Ashton, Sims, Mee and co, and considered to be a flagbearer for the new breed of melodic rock.
Their brand of melodic pomp invoked memories of great bands such as Styx, and fellow New Jersey pompsters Prophet, and their debut album from 1993 is a great snapshot of that sound.
The world could’ve been their oyster but they turned their backs on the melodic side of things and headed down a grunge path which ultimately lost them credibility and loss of interest. After a couple of albums and a few years in the wilderness, they returned to their roots with the ‘On The Line Of Fire’ album from 1997, and sealed their return with this more recent effort ‘Sea Of Desire’.
The lineup is still the same as it was from 1993, though Tracy White did go off and do a stint with Survivor clones Intruder on their ‘Dangerous Nights’ album, but is back in the fray for SS. The sound is still luscious as ever, with Charlie Calv’s keyboards really shining through with fat layers and textures. The pomp sound of this band in my eyes, lays at his feet, or more precisely his fingertips.
So what do we get for our 46 minutes worth? An impressive and thoroughly convincing pomp/melodic rock workout, more akin to the likes of Artica, Styx, and Prophet, rather than the obvious Dream Theater comparison that most reviewers seem to lump them in. The guitars are not as cutting or as fiery as before, but they embellish the keyboard textures real well. Favourite moments?
The impressive opener ‘Sea Of Desire’ gives one an idea as to what we can expect for the rest of the album, ‘Dancing On Fire’ is a moody piece, but resplendent with harmony vocals, ‘S.O.S’ is as close as you could get to an Artica track it’s scary. ‘Inside Out’ rollicks along in a similar direction to material off their debut, while the near epic length ‘Between The Eyes (Eyes Of Anger Part II) is great too.
One slight criticism? Some of the songs sound a bit samey, and really need to have some change up moments in them to vary it up a little, but all in all, a welcome return chaps. Keep up the good work.