Album Reviews

Beggars & Thieves – We Are the Brokenhearted Review

Released by: Frontiers Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Rock/Alternative/Hard Rock

Links: http://www.beggarsnthieves.com/

 

Line Up:

Louie Merlino: Vocals

Ronnie Mancuso: Guitars

Erik Gloege: Drums

Blake Newman: Bass

 

Tracklist:

1. We Come Undone

2. Oil & Water

3. Innocence

4. Never Gonna See You Again

5. Beautiful Losers

6. Seven Seconds

7. Stranded

8. Wash Away

9. Midnight Blue

10. We Are the Brokenhearted

 

The debut album from Beggars & Thieves was released in 1990 and produced by super producer Desmond Child, to some it was a more commercially driven album in comparison to the more gutter dishes served by the sleaze 80’s Hard Rock movement. After 2 more albums and the hit of grunge the band was history never to be heard from again at least as an organized group anyways.

The band was formed in NYC in 1989 by singer Louie Merlino and guitarist Ronnie Mancuso and after that debut record they went on to release two other albums that never did garner as much attention as it could of possibly deserve. The two have stayed around in the music industry being involved in creating music, jingles etc for Nascar and Fox Sports. After 20 years absence they came back and played at Firefest Festival in 2010 and was voted one of the surprises of the festival, which in essence led the band to come together and record a comeback album.

The vocals of Louie Merlino are the main point of focus here even after all this time this man can still hit some high notes and this is part of the reason why the album works in certain aspects. The music is not really old school AOR is more modern rock with a new twist, as some of these bands have come to terms with the ever changing industry, they have updated their sound, Beggars seems to be one of these bands and that’s not a bad thing.

Excellent songwriting is another strong point on “We Are the Brokenhearted”, Mancuso stock piled some pretty solid lyrics that Louie has definitely taken to a higher level with his vocals.. The accumulation of a younger rhythm section may have something to do with it, but whatever it is I like their new sound and as evident on songs like “Oil & Water” and “Never Going to See You Again” both work very well with a super crunchy production displaying this new “rock” evolving sound for the band. The powerful staple of “Midnight Blue” is punishing probably the strongest track on WABR and featuring a menacing drum part.

Louie Merlino’s voice sounds great although at times he’s vocals bring sound like a mix of new wave/ alternative modern rock; he sounds a bit like old school Bono perhaps is a natural evolution, who knows but it works okay well on this record. Because of this, the sound is a cross between modern rock and hard rock with some alternative touches. Mancuso does a solid job on the fret but nothing astounding that you haven’t heard before. With a new rhythm section I can see how the young crowd may want to check these guys out. Another one of these bands trying to resurrect a career that had gone dormant for a long time, I have stop counting the bands this year that have come back with records after being on a long hiatus, but I can’t help but say is a good thing, only time will tell if bands like Beggars & Thieves are here for a considerable amount of time.

 

Written by Denys

Ratings    Denys      7/10

 

 

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