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House Of Lords: Big Money

I have to admit that the first three albums from House Of Lords 1988's House Of Lords, 90's Sahara and 92's Demons Down were constant visitors to my record and CD deck when they were first released, with the keyboards of ex-Angel and Giuffria man Gregg Giuffria, the guitar work of Lanny Cordola and the immense voice of James Christian making for gloriously pompous rock. By the time of Demons Down Cordola was long gone, with the singer and keyboard whizz fronting a band of session musicians talented though they were - and therefore it came as little surprise that the onset of grunge rather quickly sounded the death knell for House Of Lords.

Fast forward to 2004 and HOL were back, with Cordola and Christian reuniting with drummer Ken Mary and bassist Chuck Wright. Giuffria however was conspicuous by his absence, as was the band's signature sound. In its place came a more modern, alternative approach and in truth the album The Power And The Myth was House Of Lords in name only. On a personal level my own interest with the band basically ended at this point, however with a more solid line up of Christian, Jimi Bell on guitar, BJ Zampa on drums and firstly Chris McCarvill and then Matt McKenna on bass, the band have gone on to release a further three albums to ever greater acclaim. So with a whole load of ringing endorsements sticking in my mind, I decided to take the House Of Lords plunge once more and boy am I glad I did. Not only is Big Money crammed with fantastic upbeat dramatic rock, but it all sounds like, well, House Of Lords!

Throughout his career James Christian's voice has never been in question and again his compelling roar is an amazing feature of this band's approach, however the magnificent anthemic guitar work from Bell and the soaring, yet infectious keyboards, also courtesy of Christian (he also produces this album) pack a mighty wallop. McCarvill is back on bass and he locks in tight with Zampa on drums to give tracks like "First To Cry" and "Living In A Dream World" a rock solid foundation. The album's only slow number turns up halfway through the disc in the shape of "The Next Time I Hold You", which shows Christian's more introspective side off majestically. However from there on a good album begins to become a great album. "Run For Your Life" possesses a massively infectious chorus, while "Hologram" rips along combining tasty guitar licks, with pulsating keys and rich vocals, before "Seven" ups the intensity even further. "Once Twice" bounds into view with the catchiest chorus on the album, before "Blood" closes things out in typically brooding, yet melodic HOL style with a riff not too dissimilar to Metallica's "Enter Sandman"!

Big Money really is an album simply bursting with top notch pomp rock that is simply too good to miss and James Christian really is still one of the best singers in this genre.

Looks like I'll have to go hunting for the band's last three albums to see what I've let pass me by.

Track Listing
1. Big Money
2. One Man Down
3. First To Cry
4. Someday When
5. Searchin'
6. Living In A Dream World
7. The Next Time I Hold You
8. Run For Your Life
9. Hologram
10. Seven
11. Once Twice
12. Blood

Added: October 14th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: James Christian Music
Hits: 2417
Language: english

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