Friday, August 17, 2012


Rating: RRR
Label: Escape Music 2012
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Four New Jersey and Long Island (NY) musicians decides to record the retro blues melodic album during the worst possible era of hard rock and metal. That's mid-nineties and pre-internet in case you didn't know. The result? I believe you're already familiar with the correct answer to our formidable question. By the way, why are we no longer refering to ourselves in first person? Because we are too posh to use proper English - that's why (and to type anything remotely interesting for that matter).

The gang of four and musicians of the Place Called Rage were: guitarist Al Pitrelli (Alice Cooper, Megadeth, Asia, Savatage, Jolt, etc), vocalist Tommy Farese (Trans Siberian Orchestra, Rondinelli), bassist Danny Miranda (Blue Oyster Cult, Queen feat.Paul Rodgers), and drummer Chuck Bonfonte (Saraya, Joe Lynn Turner, Flesh & Blood). It's said to be a record that would try and capture the essence of the Long Island sound? However, I could mostly discover the British 'meat and potato' rock deeply rooted into acts such as Free, Purple, The Faces/Rod Stewart, and any dusty old record featuring Paul Rodgers. But hey, they were all inspired by Black American music (R&B/Blues) in the first place anyhow.

The title track may also remind you of the first Blue Murder album and the Coverdale fronted Purple. The following track, "Trapped", takes a lot of the soul/Hughes Purple and those roaring keys in the background, the handy work of guest keyboardist Mark Mangold (Touch, Drive She Said). Tracks such as "Take It Lying Down" and "Someday" are blues/soul/R&B numbers in the vein of the first Little Caesar album (or why not the Flesh & Blood project?). Farese is the spot on raspy vocalist moulded in southern whiskey tradition and the overall sound is raw due to most of what you hear is one take, there was very little time to overdub or add background vocals, etc. Final verdict: Don't expect slick U.S. arena rock. Accept the smokey blues and you might just end up surprised by the quality of the band. I need more of the hooks and catchy melodies to really hand out the R's though.

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