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Pearce; David Mark: Strange Ang3ls

David Mark Pearce is proof that in this cynical day and age dreams can still come true. Having begun playing guitar at the age of 15, Pearce played in some local bands as well as building a reputation as a songwriter, producer and sound engineer. However it was only when a work colleague who happened to be friendly with (until recently) Yes keyboard player Oliver Wakeman asked David to listen to some of Wakeman-the younger's music, that David's career moved back into the direction of performing. Having jokingly asked if Oliver needed a guitarist, Pearce was shocked when the reply came back as a "Yes" and after trying out he was immediately offered the slot in the band.

So after spending the best part of a decade with Wakeman, David has decided to get back to recording some of his own songs which combine the heavy rock of the seventies with a slightly more eighties like commercial vibe. Keyboards are provided on the album by Lisa LaRue, who Pearce has also worked with previously (although Wakeman does add an appearance), while Mikael Wikman (Vindictiv) adds drums and C.S. Brown (Ghost Circus) bass. However the names that will really make people sit up and take notice come in the shape of the vocal duo on the Strange Ang3ls album, one time Malmsteen and Talisman singer Goran Edman and ex-Asia and GPS singer John Payne. Edman brings his authoritative delivery to five of the songs here, while Payne adds a more theatrical air to another three, with "Every Time It Rains" being an instrumental. Of the Edman tracks, the pulsating heavy rock of "Alone I Cry" and the mid-paced "Eden Is Burning" are the most memorable, while all three of the Payne contributions "Tell Me Why", "Save Your Prayers" and "So Far From Heaven" are standouts. In truth I personally would love to hear a full album's worth of Pearce's songs with Payne handling the vocals, which isn't to say that Edman's contributions are second rate, far from it, but the keyboard heavy Payne songs add more drama, which works beautifully with the thrusting riffs and soaring solos that Pearce seems capable of throwing out at will.

As debut albums go, Strange Ang3ls is a strong statement, which not only contains some great songs, but also a barrow load of stunning guitar work. If seventies rock, with a slightly more keyboard based sound is your bag, then there's no doubt you'll enjoy the company of these Strange Ang3ls.

Track Listing
1. Ang3ls (Help Us)
2. Alone I Cry
3. Shelter Me From The Rain
4. Tell Me Why
5. Every Time It Rains
6. Strange Ang3ls
7. To Live Again
8. Save Your Prayers
9. Eden Is Burning
10. So Far From Heaven

Added: July 2nd 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: David Mark Pearce Official Web Site
Hits: 3505
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Pearce; David Mark: Strange Ang3ls
Posted by Dean Pedley, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-07-02 10:54:31
My Score:

Strange Ang3ls is the debut solo album from guitarist David Mark Pearce featuring vocal contributions from John Payne (Asia, GPS) and Goran Edman (Malmsteen, Talisman). Hailing from Penzance in Cornwall, Pearce has worked for a number of years with the Oliver Wakeman Band and Wakeman also makes an appearance here on an album that is heavy on rich keyboard melodies and up-tempo hooks. In differing from the opinion of my colleague above my view is that of the two singers Edman is unquestionably more suited to the material than Payne and a Pearce-Edman collaboration in the future would certainly be welcome. The Payne songs are more plodding in their execution whereas the Edman fronted material, notably "Alone I Cry" and "Eden Is Burning" are far more immediate and memorable. Showcase instrumental "Every Time It Rains" highlights what an accomplished player Pearce is, well paced and without any suggestion of self-indulgence.

Don't be put off by the artwork which suggests a cheap and nasty Sleaze Rock album, Strange Ang3ls is a fine AOR / Melodic Rock release and should ensure that Pearce can firmly establish his credentials on the scene in his own right.

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