Friday, May 31, 2013

BURNING RAIN: "Burning Rain" & "Pleasure To Burn" re-issues

Rating: RRR
Label: Frontiers 2013
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

Frontiers are being the official rainmakers of this summer by bringing us a trio of Burning Rain releases. These are the band's first two albums re-issued, originally released in 1999 and 2000.
It's classic hard rock with a bluesy vibe all the way, with current Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich showing his chops as a guitarist and a songwriter. Based on these two albums, it was a no-brainer for David Coverdale to choose him as his "wingman", Aldrich sounds like a perfect fit for his band.

The self-titled album showcases a band that is searching for its' own sound. Opening track "Smooth Locomotion" is an uptempo rocker with a lot of Whitesnake in it, second track "Superstar Train" is vintage Van Halen, third one "Jungle Queen" owns a lot to Aerosmith... and so on. Hardly original, but quite enjoyable nevertheless. My favourite tracks are "Making My Heart Beat" and "Can't Turn Your Back On Love", both representing the band's more melodic side.

Second album "Pleasure To Burn" offers more of the same. Somehow the band's sound has gotten closer to that of Whitesnake, possibly a sign of things to come. Even the song titles give that away - "Judgement Day", "Cherie Don't Break My Heart" and... ehh... "Sex Machine". However, the band also managed to write a vintage sounding Eighties "Hair Metal" power ballad in "Faithfully Yours". It's semi-acoustic, romantic and has a big chorus - a sure-fire hit if it had been released in 1988... the album's crowning moment is one of the aforementioned "Snake-like" tracks though - "Cherie Don't Break My Heart". They've packed more melody to this one particular song than to the rest of their catalogue. A special mention must be given to Aldrich's fantastic guitar solo - it's tasteful and very beautiful.

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