Label: Frontiers 2011
Review by Alan Holloway
The release of “Stormwarning” has brought out plenty of internet grumps who are just fed up of Ten, and seem to think that Gary Hughes should just give it all up and become a lion tamer or something. Oh yes, and they’ve been rubbish since Vinnie Burns left, and I should know because I said so. And so on…
Personally, I have always liked Ten well enough and was looking forward to this, the first release for five years. You pretty much know what to expect with Ten, and it’s a bit of a shame that “Stormwarning” doesn’t attempt anything at all new, with Hughes seemingly content to roll out an album of mostly mid paced rockers polished to perfection by the ever reliable Dennis Ward. It’s immediately apparent that this isn’t going to be an album to tempt back those who have fallen out of love with the band, but long term fans won’t be disappointed.
Gary Hughes has certainly not lost his knack for writing solid rockers with decent hooks, aided and abetted by some very smooth guitar from Neil Fraser and John Halliwell, whilst Paul Hodson’s keyboards are integrated into every track. Each song is between five and eight minutes long, with no three minute attempts at pop stardom here. It’s nice that none of them outstay their welcome, as there’s plenty going on in each to fill the runtime without the listener getting the urge to press the skip button. I’ve never been overkeen on Gary Hughes vocals, (as with every other Ten album I kept imagining what the tracks would sound like if sung by Coverdale), but Hughes does a good job with what he has, his vocals basically the same as they have been on every other album.
Ten tracks and an hour of music are what you get with “Stormwarning”, and although it lacks any real killer tracks (“Name Of The Rose” was always my favourite), it’s by no means a poor album. If you’re a fan of Ten don’t let the internet naysayers keep you away from this, as although flawed it’s still a reminder that there’s life in Ten yet.