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Hersey; Iain Ashley: Vintage Love Best Of...

With three albums now under his belt, guitarist and songwriter Iain Ashley Hersey collects up the best of his output, with the odd rarity and an unreleased track for his first release through the Avenue Of Allies label. For those of you who've never encountered Hersey's music before, the blueprint comes in the form of all things early Rainbow and Gillan era Deep Purple, with Ritchie Blackmore like riffage toppling out of Hersey's Strat on every possible occasion. Somehow though the results just never quite convince and while I've dabbled with IAH before, hearing a collection of his strongest material only serves to confirm that he is a hugely talented guitarist and songwriter, but in the end his songs lack the magic "spark" that would carry them from worthy, to impressive. The vocal cast list across this release is of the highest calibre, with not one, but two ex-Rainbow chanters contributing. Graham Bonnet graces the "Walking The Talk" and "The Holy Grail" and while he is a favourite singer of mine, neither of these tracks show him in his strongest light. The final (so far!) Rainbow singer Doogie White shows up for a swift romp through a song made famous by his onetime band - "L.A. Collection", which while good fun especially in the keyboard arrangement, is a pale shadow of the Blackmore/Dio version. Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt/Quiet Riot) and Mike Stone (Peter Criss/Queensryche) also add a track apiece, with the former giving a trademark gruff and ready performance on the excellent "Hold On", while Stone's less grandiose delivery does offer up, even with all the different vocal talent on show, a welcome change of focus.

It is hard to pinpoint why the majority of the songs on this album don't really get beyond decent standard, but when you consider that acts like Road To Ruin can do this type of stuff in a far more convincing style, then there's no reason why Hersey shouldn't be able to blow your socks off at every opportunity too. Too often, the results of tracks like "Voodoo Spirits" (with its nice quirky squeeze-box intro), "Blink Of An Eye" and the exclusive previously unreleased "Red Head Rampage" sound too formulaic and tired to really leave a lasting impact.

For Hersey fans, this album will be a welcome release, what with the new track and "The Outcaste" being previously available only in Japan. However while there isn't actually a duff moment in sight across the entire fourteen tracks, there isn't really too much to genuinely inspire either.

Track Listing
1. Goin' Down And Dirty
2. Distant Memories
3. Hold On
4. The Outcaste
5. Blood Of Kings
6. Walking The Talk
7. Calling For The Moon
8. Blink Of An Eye
9. The Holy Grail
10. Voodoo Spirits
11. Sacrifice The Sun
12. L.A. Connection
13. Vintage Love
14. When Will My Love Fade
15. Red Head Rampage

Added: December 15th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Iain Ashley Hersey MySpace
Hits: 2364
Language: english

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