Label: Escape Music 2011
Review by Satu Reunanen
US-hardrockers Talon are back with a new release, and take off with a smoking start with "Crying To Me". Now it took me quite a few spins to get a liking to their songs, so it was only after those spins that I realized they started the album very nicely. In their very light and easygoing hardrock style one would assume that you would take a liking to them immediately, but Talon fools you easily to thinking there's nothing more to them than what you hear at first spin. Don't be fooled by your first impression.
A band that started off as Voxen and had a song featured in the movie "Outbreak" with Dustin Hoffman, they still remain quite unknown. Firefest-fans have had a pleasure capturing the band at the festival twice, both times with a different singer (Michael O´Mara (Joshua Perahia, EFX) and Chandler Mogel (Outloud), but on this album the band introduced a new singer, Shawn Pelata (Line Of Fire). Pelata is a good singer, who manages the songs well. The album also features another Firefest face, Jeff Scott Soto (Journey, Talisman, JSS) on "Take You All The Way", and you can't guess wrong on his vocals, Soto has a very recognizable voice. He seems as though he's struggling a bit on some parts. Maybe he had to record on a flu day, or then he just had to sing too high, who knows. Mainly he's doing a great job though. On the keys the band has Eric Ragno, another regular face in Firefest, and also from bands such as China Blue and Takara.
Talon is strongly weaved around the guitarwork of Kory Voxen and Jim Kee, and the melodies are beautiful. Great shredwork too. The choruses in "III" are what need the many spins though. In each song Talon has the potential to go soaring high in the choruses, but fail to be bigger than life. Great hooks are thrown in many directions, and strangely happen to be greater than the actual choruses. Talon states this release is a "return to the sound, vibe and energy of our debut selftitled release", and as such, having never gone further in the melodic rock scene, they should adventure to unknown paths to find where their true strength lies at. The band, with Phil Keller on bass, John Parker on drums and Erik Johnson doing backup vocals, is great and powerful, but a deeper look in the songwriting wouldn't be a bad idea. "Crying To Me" could show the way with its big chorus and smoking attitude. The band closes the album with a Starship-cover "Jane", another fine song for a fine hardrock album.