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Gunhill: Nightheat / One Over The Eight
Here is a '90s band that was unfamiliar to me at the time. Over the course of a few years Gunhill featured John Lawton (vocals), Riki Robyns (lead guitar, keyboards), Mike Raxworthy (keyboards, vocals), Lloyd Coates (drums), Chris Jones (drums, vocals), Brian Bennett (acoustic and electric guitar) and Neil Kavanagh (bass, vocals, keyboards, flute, acoustic guitar). Of course you may be familiar with John Lawton, the former vocalist of Lucifer's Friend and mid to late '70s Uriah Heep. Lawton formed Gunhill in 1994 when grunge rock was fully entrenched in the musical landscape.
This is a double CD featuring the band's first album, a fan club cassette release titled One Over The Eight and their second album Nightheat, originally released in 1997 and now out of print. The albums include originals, covers and reworkings of a few tracks.
Nightheat contains thirteen tunes including two Uriah Heep bonus tracks. The first three tracks highlight what this band was all about; pure honest to goodness hard rock. "Don't Stop Believing" opens with a spoken word before turning into a rousing melodic rocker. Lovely acoustic guitar and sublime vocal harmonies highlight Bad Company's "Ready for Love" while the balladic "Wall of Silence" showcases excellent guitar work and moody keyboard washes.
One Over The Eight opens with three covers. First off is Whitesnake's "Walking in the Shadow of the Blues". Dirty edged guitar riffs and organ makes for a delicious hard rock sound. Next the band tackles The Beatles' classic "Eleanor Rigby". Lush keyboard orchestrations, excellent harmonies and heavier guitar makes this an excellent cover. On Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" Lawton gives an awesome vocal performance. This is bluesy rock at its absolute finest. The melodic "Can't Get Enough" is the first original and it's a good one with crisp guitar riffs, a sing along chorus and powerful lead vocals. The moody and mellower "Stone Cold" with its catchy chorus and fine slow burning guitar solo is another highlight as is the pretty piano ballad "Every Little Bit Hurts".
If these albums had been released a decade or two earlier they would have certainly been wider known. At the time alternative rock and metal was in full swing so sadly this music went virtually unnoticed which is a real shame as fans of hard rock will love this. It's still not too late to support the band so please check it out.
1. Don't Stop Believing
2. Ready for Love
3. Wall of Silence
4. Nobody Loves You the Way I Do
5. Far From Home
6. Eleanor Rigby
7. Don't Look Back
8. Waiting for the Heartache
9. When A Man Loves A Woman
10. Any Day Now
11. Clearwater Highway
13. Come Back to Me
One Over The Eight
1. Walking in the Shadow of the Blues
2. Eleanor Rigby
3. Ain't No Sunshine
4. Can't Get Enough
5. Better by You Better than Me
6. Stone Cold
7. Every Little Bit Hurts
9. Harlem Shuffle
10. Soldier of Love
11. River of Dreams
Added: February 22nd 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
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