Melodic Rock Records 2011
Review by Kimmo Toivonen
Andrew McNeice's MelodicRock Records brings us an archival release from 1986, featuring the AOR semi-god Mitch Malloy on vocals and David Rosenthal of Red Dawn on keys. The rest of the musicians on the album are session players, including guitarist Reb Beach (Winger, Whitesnake).
In 1986, young Malloy wasn't quite the super vocalist he turned into by the time of his debut album a few years later. Don't get me wrong, he had the pipes already, but I think his performances on this album do not have as much versatility or character as on his later recordings.
Some of these songs you might have already heard, although covered by other artists. There's "Secrets", covered by Message in 1998 on their "Fine Line" album, but the bulk of the material has been re-recorded by Red Dawn, no less than 4 of the songs appeared on Red Dawn's "Never Say Surrender" album. I prefer the latter-day recordings, but these are quite interesting too.
The "unheard" tracks are all good, but not great keyboard-driven melodic hard rock, slightly less heavy than Red Dawn. The level of "greatness" isn't reached thanks to some rather uneventful choruses. The closest one to something really speacial is the ballad "Promise" (not the Red Dawn track "Promises"), but no, it doesn't quite measure up.
This album is probably essential to all the Mitch Malloy fans and naturally all the Red Dawn enthusiasts. For me, it's a nice, slightly "novelty" type of an album. Decent songs, decent production but let's face it, it's unlikely that I'll listen to this often now that the review's done. The Red Dawn versions are still better, and there's always Malloy's own stuff to listen.