Album Reviews

Tango Down – Charming Devil Review

CD800S

Released by: Kivel Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Hard Rock

Links: Official band page

 

Line Up:

David Reece (vocals)
Scott Miller (guitar, backing vocals)
Ronnie Parkes (bass backing vocals)
Keith Michaels (drums)

Additional Musicians:
Jace Pawlak–Piano
Erik Johnson–Keyboards

 

Tracklist:

1. Bad Reputation
2. Charming Devil
3. Tunnel Vision
4. Too Many Roads
5. Change My World
6. Heavens Falling
7. New Addiction
8. Tomorrow Never Comes
9. I’m Done Loving You
10. Nothing But Rain

 

Tango Down return with their follow up to 2012’s Identity Crisis. The second album from the band featuring David Reece (Bangalore Choir, Accept and more..) delivers a 10 song set  of loud, crunchy and very infectious hard rock.

From opener ‘Bad Reputation’ with its heavy chugging intro and wailing solos underpinning the groove at every opportunity, it’s clear that the band are going for an anthemic, arena sound that forces the listener to play it loud! It’s immediately followed with a talk-box effect guitar intro on ‘Charming Devil‘ that naturally brings to mind ‘Livin’ On A Prayer‘ and thus sets the stall out as to who the core audience is likely to be for this release. All too often these days, bands strive for a modern rock sound and can alienate themselves from a huge audience that grew up in the glory days of hard rock. Not so Tango Down. They deliver a huge sound from the speakers and it’s a sound that pays homage to the classic stadium rock of the late 80’s without in any way sounding dated. Take ‘Tunnel Vision‘, multi layered vocals to add depth to the verses, screeching guitar solos that never get lower than the 12th fret, bombastic drumming, all of which, when combined, deliver a rock sound that can be appreciated by lovers of metal and AOR equally. As such it’s no surprise to see the band are playing MelodicFest IV in Chicago this October. With a line up including anthemic hard rockers like H.E.A.T. , Paul Laine, Talon and Johnny Lima, Tango Down are a great addition to the bill.

On ‘Change The World‘ the band dial back a little bit on the verses and let Reece’s vocals carry the load and what a job he does. His natural level on a lot of songs is at the top of his range holding the highest of notes and providing the lynch pin to help the rest of the band harmonise around him. On this track, he gets to show how strong and clear his vocals can be without trying to burst a blood vessel in the process.

Given that all successful albums need to be able to showcase the band as well as the vocalist, founder , and the driving force behind Tango Down, Scott Miller adds the extra dimension with his crunchy guitar sound and meaty riffs. Scott has written some of the bands most memorable tunes over their four album career to date and is able to insert a riff, lick and solo into every song at just the right moment to give it the perfect sound.

So now that we have the singer / guitarist working as well as say Sambora / Bon Jovi, Tyler / Perry, Jagger / Richards, what then of the rhythm section? Well it’s safe to say that Ronnie Parkes (bass backing vocals) and Keith Michaels (drums) hold everything together perfectly adding an excellent groove to the proceedings. Michaels solid drumming really pushes the bass cones in your speakers to the max and it’s very very easy to finding yourself head banging to each and every track on offer. The deep solid mix of bass guitar and drums is bolstered by the incredible job that Ty Sims (Bombay Black) does in producing this album. Even with multi layered vocal harmonies, nothing feels over polished and the mix always allows the key element of the track to shine at the appropriate point, be it a solo, a soaring vocal or just a solid beat from the bass \ drums.  As such, the album sounds gritty and hungry rather  than tired and too clean and that works perfectly in the bands favour.

Erik Johnson on keyboards has been brought in to add some subtle flavours to some of the tracks, just enough to spice them up a little without pushing the band into pure AOR moments. On album closer ‘Nothing But Rain’ we also get to hear Jace Pawlak on piano with a stirring intro that then sees the band saving the best till last as this song has everything. Guitar solos from Miller are note perfect and never overly long, Reece’s vocals inspire you to sing along at the top of your voice with your fists clenched to chest in classic rock star pose. Again the piano is subtle but adds the final ingredient to make the song an absolute classic.

Adrenaline fuelled music for sure. This is a band you can drive to with the top down and the speakers turned up to 11. Enjoy.

 

Written by Adrian

Ratings    Adrian    9/10

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