Label: TwoSideMoon 2013
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
Here's the fun surprise from out of nowhere. The (his)story of U.S. melodic rockers VADUZ dates all the way back to 1987 when Brian Wade (vocals) and Ringo Lee (guitars) played in a band called Blind Ambition. Before long they changed their moniker after the capital of Liechenstein (!?) They soon replaced the original bassist with Jimmy Krio and discovered drummer Matt Finn. The band toured smaller venues in the states and recorded two indie albums before they decided to call in quits in 1993.
Fast forward to present date, the reunion, and the rather smashing new, kicking it old style, melodic hardrock CD, 'Better Days'. Hardly original U.S. hair-metal, but never derivative, thanks to Wade's emotive performances and songwriting. Indeed, he's the rather confident and strong vocalist in the grand tradition of CJ Snare (Firehouse), Jani Lane (Warrant) with merely the hint of Eric Martin (Mr Big). Not quite as great as the latter of course, but he won't disappoint.
Some of the material (such as "Enemy") taking on a more 'Dog Eat Dog' (Warrant) melancholic lite, while "Lowdown Blues" is the traditional blues/rock number. However, 'Better Days' - overall a powerful salute to hair-metal and sing-a-long anthems of the eighties. There is some real charm in the likes of 'Working Band', 'I Saw The Light Again', and the pure innocence of the power ballad, 'Thy Kingdom Come'. Bless you for giving us proper, borderline cheesy, but oh-so catchy, soft-rock with positive, thought provoking lyrics.
Nice production by Tom Tatman (responsible for 300 records including Stone Sour's 1st Gold album). Recommended if you're into Warrant, Firehouse, Idle Cure.