Thursday, February 26, 2015

TONY MILLS: "Over My Dead Body"

Rating: RRRR

Label: Battlegod Productions

Review By: Alan Holloway

Tony Mills hasn’t had an easy time of late. The vocalist who blew my young mind in Shy all those years ago was constantly pilloried for having the audacity to join TNT, and is still recovering from a serious heart attack. Now a lone wolf once more, at least for this album, Mills has recorded what is by far his most personal piece of work, kicking his demons in the arse and rocking out while he does it.

‘Over My Dead Body’ is in turns melodic and mournful, reflecting the things the singer has gone through, at times seeing Mills laid bare as the cover might suggest. Don’t think that this is some self reflective doom fest, mind, as there’s some cracking heavy melodic rock tracks here, most notably the upbeat and catchy ‘Northern Star’, and the Shy-like ‘No Love Lost’, which has a go at certain people. He even pays tribute to the good old days with the infectious ‘4 In The Morning’ and ‘Somewhere In London’, both of which will please fans of Mills’ more melodic work. On the darker side we have ‘Gate 21’, scene of the heart attack, followed by a cover of Jaques Brel’s ‘My Death’ (more a cover of the slow Bowie version), the former having a weighty heft to it with the latter seeing Mills really delivering with vocal passion that really reminded me of Geoff tate.

Mills impresses on every level throughout what must have been a cathartic album, co-written with Robert Sall. It’s difficult to listen to without thinking a bit of Queensryche’s ‘Operation Mindcrime’, with the smart lyrics, additional atmospheric inserts and Mills high register, but it’s a different breed of album. ‘Over My Dead Body’ is a massive Fuck You to everyone who attacked Mills for doing a difficult job, proving that he is much more than anyone’s hired gun. Powerful, passionate and a must for fans of his work, this proves that Tony Mills has plenty more left to offer. 

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