Album Reviews

Gibraltar – I’m the One Review

Released by: Heaven & Hell Records

Release date: Out Now

Genre: Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal

 

Lineup:

Roy Cathey – Lead Vocals

Eric Page – Guitars

Frank Fournier – Bass

Jerry Everly – Drums

David Garcia – Keyboards

 

Track Listing:

01. I’m the one

02. She wrote the book

03. You better know

04. Not the first

05. Nights on fire

06. Real

07. Full speed

08. Let go

09. P.S.

 

Every band we know and love started somewhere small: from a spare bedroom, garage, or storage facility. I’d say every one of them struggled, paid their dues and still do to some degree. Sometimes a band can rise up from the underground and take over the world like Metallica did. Others have a brief moment in the spotlight only to fall back into relative obscurity with a strong following. Still yet others continue to slug it out on the local scene for the pure love of it. There was a band at the beginning of the 90’s that hit the scene hard and died almost as quick (thanks to MCA dropping the ball.) They were called Cold Sweat and featured Marc Ferrari who was coming off the heels of a great run with the band Keel. It caught my attention as much for Ferrari’s inclusion as was North Carolina singer Rory Cathey joining the band to replace the departed Oni Logan (who jumped ship to join Lynch Mob.) I wasn’t familiar with Cathey’s work prior, but anyone that was coming from the state I called home I was gonna throw some support towards. Of course, I came to love the album (Break Out) a lot. A couple of years ago Rory (now going by his name Roy,) popped up on my radar again with his newest band The Fifth. I reviewed that album and loved it quite a bit too (was much different from the Cold Sweat stuff, but still killer.) When I heard that Heaven & Hell Records were reissuing Roy’s early band Gibraltar, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I would get it.

Simply entitled I’m the One, it’s very clearly an album hailing from the 80’s (1987 to be exact.) Full of big guitar hooks, catchy songs, and stunning vocals, had it caught the right momentum, this could’ve leapt from cult classic to big hit. Riding the perfect edge between polished 80’s Hard Rock with heavy melodic AOR overtones, Gibraltar offers 30 minutes of music that would’ve rivalled a lot of other stuff out around that time. From the Survivor-ish keyboard-laden “She Wrote the Book,” the harder-edged “Full Speed,” and the lovely ballad “Real” demonstrate that the band were capable of handling all musical emotions equally. Roy was only getting started with what he would demonstrate vocally later on, but still showed that he was, even early on, an amazing singer, while the excellent guitar work of Eric Page mixed perfectly with the keyboards of David Garcia, and the foundation of the songs was brought together by bassist Frank Fournier and drummer Jerry Everly. For a young band out of Fayetteville NC, they were other showing next level brilliance with stunning performances and powerful, hit-worthy songs.

This is going to be one of my favorite reissues of the year, if not the favorite. There’s so much to love about Gibraltar’s I’m the One, I can’t see why any fan of melodic hard rock shouldn’t be chomping at the bit to own this gem. With the excellent remastering work of Jamie King, it only makes this already kick ass album, that much better. If you’re looking for a step back into the 80’s, this is the album for you. It’s got everything that made that decade the best for music.

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: 9/10

 

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