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Eisley/Goldy: Blood, Guts, and Games

Though both were members of the semi-successful Giuffria, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist David Glen Eisley and guitarist Craig Goldy haven't recorded together in many years, but a surprise visit from Goldy to Eisley's house a few years back prompted the duo to rekindle their musical friendship once again, and their debut album for Frontiers Records (who else?) is now upon us, titled Blood, Guts, and Games. Joined by drummer Ron Wikso, the trio have delivered ten tracks of crunchy hard rock, AOR, and soaring melodic rock, a fun step back in time for fans of their days together in Giuffria.

While some might miss the commanding keyboard textures of Greg Giuffria, both Eisley and Goldy contribute some synths and Hammond organ in spots here, but it's Goldy's guitar that really is the musical star of the show. Plenty of powerful riffing going on throughout "I Don't Belong Here Anymore" and tasty metallic lead lines on the memorable "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter" and the ballad "Lies I Can Live With". What's interesting is that none of these songs clock in at less than 5-minutes, with the dark hard rocker "No More Prayers in the Night" topping the eight minute mark and the emotional ballad "Believe in One Another" surpassing seven. The most successful tracks here are obviously the meatier, heavier tracks, such as "Love of the Game", which has a great hook, the raging "Wings of a Hurricane", featuring some killer Goldy guitar work, a grinding "Track Thirteen", and the fist pumping, snarling anthem "Soul of Madness", easily the best tune on the album.

For his part, Eisley is somewhat hit or miss here on Blood, Guts, and Games. He's obviously trying really hard to be that same guy from the '80s, but his voice just isn't as potent as it used to be, not that we would expect it to be. He's at his best on the hard rockers, with the softer tunes unfortunately showing some cracks, but overall there's enough good to be found here on this album that I'm sure most of his longtime fans will be happy to hear him back in the saddle again. Well done guys.


Track Listing

  1. The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
  2. I Don't Belong Here Anymore
  3. Lies I Can Live With
  4. No More Prayers In The Night
  5. Love Of The Game
  6. Wings Of A Hurricane
  7. Life, "If Only A Memory"
  8. Soul Of Madness
  9. Track Thirteen
  10. Believe In One Another

Added: December 3rd 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Frontiers Records
Hits: 181
Language: english

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Eisley/Goldy: Blood, Guts, and Games
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2017-12-03 16:28:22
My Score:

For many David Glenn Eisley is one of the great lost voices in rock. As the frontman of the band Giuffria, he and his cohorts produced the smash hit "Call To The Heart" in the mid-eighties, but with their second album failing to ignite the charts, Gene Simmons of Kiss fame offered the band a lifeline, but on the proviso they changed their name and ditched their singer… and with James Christian behind the mic, House Of Lords was born. Eisley teamed up with Earl Slick in the short lived and underrated Dirty White Boy, before pretty much slipping off the radar; his most notable moment since probably being as the singing voice of Spongebob Squarepants!

With only minor releases and demo collections to satisfy fans since, the news that Eisley had teamed up with ex-Dio guitarist and his ex-Giuffria bandmate Craig Goldy on the back of a 2015 one-off live reunion of Giuffria, was almost too good to be true; the pair key members of the band's original line-up that delivered their seminal, self titled debut AOR/Pomp-monster. Blood, Guts & Games is the result of duo's efforts and if you're a long term fan of either, prepare to invest in new socks as your old pair get clean knocked off! With Eisley and Goldy handling most of the instruments between them, original Giuffria bassist Chuck Wright also adds his inimitable skills on a few tracks, while Alan Krigger, who also played drums on Giuffria's two albums, appears in the music video for "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter" - although it appears it was actually Ron Wikso who recorded the drum parts on this album.

That song also leads the album's charge, Eisley sounding like only a matter of minutes have passed since his phenomenal vocal efforts on the two Giuffria albums (although he's not quite so rock solid in places), while the surging keys and biting guitars leave no doubt that this collaboration aims to play to its strengths and revive the sound the fans will be all too keen to hear. "I Don't Belong Here Anymore" follows up in immense style, a howling Eisley vocal paving the way for deep guitar grooves and undercurrents of uplifting keyboards. Impressively the standard doesn't drop once, "Lies I Can Live With" a mid-paced atmospheric surge that possibly reminds of House Of Lords more than Giuffria, while "Love Of The Game" adds a nice bluesy edge to the classic 80s sound being evoked. With "Wings Of A Hurricane" exactly the sort of overblown power surge of pomp these two made their name with (check out Goldy's Blackmore-esque guitar solo – it's to die for!) and "Soul Of Madness" the sort or proud strut that only this genre can truly provide, you honestly can dip into this album anywhere and immediately be struck by just how convincingly captivating it all is.

Closing out with the one-two of the loosely progressive AOR and keyboard infused "Track Thirteen" (which is actually track nine…) and the album's only real ballad, "I Believe In One Another", which contains yet more impassioned vocals and another stinging guitar solo (I know I've fixated on DGE's return, but Goldy really is in top form throughout), each and every song makes a mighty impression. Too often these sorts of band member reunions see those involved afraid to sound like they're stuck in the past, or relying on previous success, but let's be honest, anyone buying an album by two of the key members of Giuffria wants an album that sounds pretty much like that band used to. Blood, Guts And Games is exactly that album, and pretty damn stunning it is too!



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