Released by: Escape Music Ltd
Release date: 30th March 2015
Genre: Melodic Rock
Michael O’Mara: Lead and Backing Vocals
Kory Voxen: Rhythm and Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Jim Kee: Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Phil Keller: Bass Guitar
John Parker: Drums
Special Guest Musicians:
Tim Pierce: Lead and Harmony Guitars on “Spun” and “Tonight”
Pete Fry: Lead Guitar on “Love Is Like A Drug To Me”
01 – Spun
02 – Sin City Sister
03 – Holly Would
04 – Set Me Free
05 – Tonight
06 – It’s A Fine Line Between Love And Lust
07 – Evil
08 – I Don’t Wanna Cry
09 – Love Is Like A Drug to Me
10 – Raise ‘Em High
11 – Hole In The Head
12 – Ain’t Nothin’ In The World Like A Rockin’ Band
L.A. melodic rockers Talon, born from the ashes of ‘VOXEN’, stick their claws straight into the flesh of the melodic rock niche with their latest, and arguably strongest, release Fourplay. Buoyed by the recent return of original vocalist Michael O’Mara, founding member John Parker claims that that the band have undoubtedly “come full circle”.
The album’s opening number, ‘Spun’, as the name suggests, is not only raunchy, catchy, and noisy. It is also very clever, certainly as I see it. The blistering guitar work from start to finish sets the pace and O’Mara’s repeated and relentless chants of “The world keeps spinning, spinning around” almost envelop the listener in a lovely little musical tornado. The vocals throughout the album share resemblances of a very young Vince Neil. That’s a good thing, by the way, a very good thing.
Following on, ‘Sin City Sister’ is a track that wouldn’t seem out of place on any sleaze rock album in both name and sound. Parker’s thumping drums and Keller’s clanging bass drag this song up by the scruff of the neck. Voxen and Kee complete the ensemble in this would-be 80’s sleaze tune, reminiscent of the likes of Poison or Crüe in certain aspects. O’Mara’s vocals here screech to notes right up there on the top shelf demonstrating an impressive range, especially when set aside the album’s ballad ‘Tonight’.
This record begins to feel like piloting through an asteroid field of impressive riffs and hooks in the likes of ‘There’s a Fine Line Between Love and Lust’, the in-your-face ‘Evil’ and the grimy ‘Holly Would’.
What do I mean? Well, it’s only a matter of time before something big smashes straight into your face.
So, then, cue the album’s strongest track, ‘Set Me Free’, which is simply miles ahead of every other song on here. Starting off with superb vocal harmonising, that raunchy rhythm section makes a welcome return in behind a simple, defiant guitar lick. The chorus is memorable to say the least and, upon its climax, you’re forced to ride a lightning bolt of a guitar solo straight into the next verse. This song is quite simply brilliant, from beginning to end, demonstrating everything that is right with this band of talented rockers. Talk about setting free? Yeah, there are no shackles in sight.
Talon’s abilities are highlighted at the album’s climax, in ‘There Ain’t Nothin’ In The World Like A Rockin’ Band’, where a shying acoustic riff is transformed into a fully-fledged electric kick in the teeth. The song itself seems somewhat of a swipe at modern, and inexplicably popular, musical culture, notably in the lyrics “took 13 people to write that song”. But, as Talon suggest here, we “know better than that!”
This album is undeniably Talon’s strongest release to date and boasts a great range of songs for any fan of melodic rock. Hanging out more on the heavier side of the melodic rock playground, this album reminded me a great deal of Swedish Rockers Treat and their 2010 release ‘Coup de Grace’. That’s a massive compliment. Talon rightly claim that there ain’t nothin’ in the world like a rockin’ band. Well, guys, you are most certainly that.
Written by: Phil Bailie