I’m undecided whether the number of new contemporary classic rock bands is on the increase or if I am simply just discovering more of them as the result of the contacts I make through this site. Either way, it has become abundantly clear to me that there are a good many of them out there and there are probably more on the way.
The existence of these groups can probably be explained a number of ways depending on who you are listening to. My take on it is that the “Golden Era” of rock, which for me represents the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s gave us the most original and best rock music of all time. On the other hand, talk to someone a decade or two older and you may get a different story. I get it. Taste in music is largely a generational thing and I’m glad to see increasing numbers of younger artists embracing the kind of music I grew up listening to.
The latest group to make themselves known to me is one out of North Carolina called Line of Fire. Described by their lead vocalist Shawn Pelata as “A Melodic Rock band in the vein of Journey/Boston,” this three piece act sounds as if they could have as easily come on the scene in 1977 instead of 2010. I find Pelata’s comparisons right on the money.
I recently got a change to listen to Line of Fire’s new album, Momentum, and the Boston influence jumped right out at me immediately. Journey to a lesser extent, but that comparison could certainly be made. There are few fleeting moments where even the Scorpions come to mind as well, particularly in the guitar work on track #3, “Give Me All.”
Momentum is a rather ironic name for the new album since that is exactly what the group lost as they set their mind to recording it some four years ago. Guitarist Nikki Dimage was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 and was sidelined around the same time that Pelata’s wife was also dealing with serious health problems that kept her in the hospital for two months.
A change in the line-up as well as other factors beyond their control continued to dog the band following Dimage’s recovery and prevented them from spending much productive time in the studio until 2009.
Released on Indie label Tribunal Records and engineered by Jamie King, with Momentum the group was going for a less-processed and more pure sound akin to Boston’s debut album or Journey’s Departure.
I would conclude that they came pretty close. I think the mix is quite good, with my only complaint being that the drums could be a little stronger and allowed to contribute more to the “bottom” end of things. But that’s something that drummers probably always say. For those curious enough to find out exactly what it is I am talking about, take a listen to Journey’s “Girl Can’t Help It” from Raised on Radio.
My pick for the stand-out track on the album is track #2, “Obsession,” with track #6 “The Fire Never Dies” following at a close second. Added as a bonus track is Dokken’s “Breaking the Chains,” although I think Line of Fire’s original material stands fine on its own, but if that’s a song that’s near and dear to them for some reason, more power to them.
True classic rock fans are quite likely to appreciate this new album and can head on over to the group’s MySpace page to sample a few tracks. I feel quite comfortable saying that Momentum is an album well worth checking out. It’s another notable effort towards keeping “Real Rock” alive and well.