Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Label: AOR Boulevard
Review by Kimmo Toivonen
This album has nothing to do with the oil business and the Ewing family, although if you play it backwards you might find out who shot JR... okay, that's enough of 80'ies TV drama. But we'll stick to that decade anyway, since that's what Bryan Dallas does too.
He might be a young(ish) dude but these songs of his are deeply rooted in the late eighties' melodic hard rock: Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Ratt... but kind of like Reckless Love has done lately, they've been mixed with contemporary sounds and production tricks. To be honest, this isn't nowhere near as polished as Reckless Love, the Dallas sound is much more raw, edgy, almost industrial at times.
The multi-talented Bryan Dallas has done most of this on his own, with some additional drumming by Zac Curtis. His vocals remind me a lot of Leppard's Joe Elliott, he sounds similary strained at times, but somehow this "painful" vocalizin' suits these songs.
And the songs! These are some of the most infectious songs I've heard lately. The production might not be on "Hysteria" level, but the likes of "Rock You Like A Bomb", "This Love" and "Bring The Light" are hysterically catchy. Def Leppard or Bon Jovi haven't written anything this catchy in the last 15 years, give or take a couple of songs.
With "Close My Eyes" Dallas proves that he can pen a tearjerker too - it's a power ballad of the finest order, featuring a gigantic chorus. Bryan's vocal performance is over-the-top, as if he's tearing out his heart right there in his studio.
The actual album features 9 songs with 4 songs marked as bonus tracks. Three of them are just as good as the actual album tracks, although with even more unpolished production. The "Neon Blue Mix" of the album track "Miles Away" could've been dropped in favour of another original song, but I'm sure it has its' fans too.
Some of these songs have been first released in 2012. Hopefully Mr. Dallas has been busy during the past 6 years and we'll get to hear new music from him soon.