White Skies is an English melodic rock band that features a lineup of personnel with back-history from the 80’s decade.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: White Skies
ALBUM: Black Tide
LABEL: Pride And Joy Music
SERIAL: PJM 13187
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Mick White – lead vocals * Ray Callcut – guitars, backing vocals * Pete Lakin – keyboards, backing vocals * Rob Naylor – bass, backing vocals * Daz Lamberton – drums, backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 What Do You Know About Love * 02 Emily * 03 Midnight Rendezvous * 04 Kiss Me (As I Say Goodbye) * 05 One Step Forward * 06 Two Worlds Collide * 07 A Love Unjustified * 08 Bring It On Back * 09 Black Tide * 10 Leave A Light On * 11 Takin’ A Ride * 12 Sleeping In The Fire
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White Skies is an English melodic rock band that features a lineup of personnel with back-history from the 80’s decade across bands such as Samson, First Strike, YaYa and Dante Fox.
The two pivots of the band (White and Callcut) were old 80’s survivors who plotted their formation a few years ago only for COVID to impose itself preventing their ability to rehearse. Songwriting continued under lockdown until recently when mandates etc were removed globally. With the addition of keyboardist Pete Lakin, White Skies was then able to proceed ahead, recording and mixing completed in the Spring, the debut released on the German label Pride & Joy during the first week of November 2022.
Early on in the piece I wasn’t holding much hope upon hearing ‘What Do You Know About Love’, a rough and ready rocker with some coarse vocals. The guitar lines from Ray Callcut was pretty good though. Shifting to the second track ‘Emily’, now this is more like it. Surprisingly very Steve Perry like vocals from Mick, while the harmony vocals are the icing on the cake. Well done. Wow!
Ambient piano introduces ‘Midnight Rendezvous’, this switches identity into a total AOR number of the highest quality. More piano intros on ‘Kiss Me (As I Say Goodbye)’, but this one lives in ballad town, and White Skies certainly know how to navigate their way through the softer material. An undoubted highlight for me is the very appealing ‘One Step Forward’. The chorus is the standout here, on what is a very radio friendly number.
‘Two Worlds Collide’ undulates through mild verses and some stacked guitar lines throughout, the solo too is rather stinging. Nothing wrong with ‘A Love Unjustified’ either, though not quite holding my attention like previous tracks. ‘Bring It On Back’ is more on the restrained and mellow side, it could nearly be considered a ballad but not quite. ‘Black Tide’ has a darker tone, not unexpected given the song title, but it’s not lacking for melody either.
‘Leave A Light On’ is the obligatory ballad on the album, no real hard-out moments, it just flows like the shuffly rhythms found on a Toto track. White Skies up the ante for the very rockin’ number ‘Takin’ A Ride’. Callcut’s guitar dominates here, though the accompanying keyboard counter melodies add some colour. Here they remind me of Honeymoon Suite‘s surging style. The album is completed by the fiery (excuse the pun) ‘Sleeping In The Fire’, a satisfying conclusion.
The initial idea was to create a pure AOR album in the style of 80’s icons Journey, Foreigner and Toto. That’s a high-bar being set at the very start. How did they fare? Not many bands could ever recreate the sound of those three legends but at least these guys gave it a good crack and they should be proud of their achievements.
One Step Forward
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