Monday, August 22, 2011

SERPENTINE: "Living And Dying In High Definition"

Rating: 9/10

Label: AOR Heaven 2011

Review by Alan Holloway

First up, I have to say that I’ve been a fan of Tony Mills since his days in Shy, and it’s always a pleasure to hear him on an album that plays to his vocal strengths. The first Serpentine album did just this, and I’ delighted to report that this one does as well, only more so.

Full of hard edged melodic rock, “Living & Dying In High Definition” is, for my money, the best album involving Mills since Shy‘s seminal “Brave The Storm”, with a similar song structure that allows every song to evolve at it’s own pace, with none coming in under 4 minutes 50. “Heartbreak Town”, for example, follows a deceptively similar path to Shy’s “Caught In The Act Of Love”, but has a ton of it’sown ideas as well. There’s out and out rockers, such as the impressive opening salvo of “Deep Down (There’s A Price To Pay)” and “Philadelphia”, and even a soaring ballad in the shape of the very hummable “Love Is Blue”. There’s a great mix of keyboards and guitar throughout, and kudos are definitely due to Gareth David Noon and Chris Gould respectively, whilst producer Sheena Sear has kept everything well balanced.

With nary a duff track in sight, this is a big improvement on last years debut, impressive as that in itself was. Definitely old school but with a real spark of originality at it’s core, this is a must for all fans of Tony Mills and keyboard driven melodic hard rock.


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