Though he's best known as the keyboard player/rhythm guitarist for acts such as UFO, The Michael Schenker Group, Waysted, Chicken Shack, and Savoy Brown, Paul Raymond also has managed to squeeze in a little solo work along the way, with his latest entry titled Terms & Conditions Apply for Cherry Red Records. Though many might not know it, but this is actually Paul Raymond Project's sixth release overall, and it's a damn good one.
The band is comprised of Paul Raymond (lead vocals/lead & rhythm guitars/keyboards), Andy Simmons (lead rhythm guitars/keyboards), Mark Coles (bass/backing vocals), and Tony Steel (drums/backing vocals), with guest appearances here from Michael Schenker (MSG, UFO, Scorpions) and Rueben Archer (Stampede, Wild Horses, Lautrec, Lionheart). Much of the music reminds of early UFO, mixed in with some Rolling Stones, Mott the Hoople, and Small Faces. Raymond's vocals are actually pretty strong, sounding like a cross between Phil Mogg and a young Keith Richards, and the band are tight and polished. "Born & Raised on Rock 'n' Roll" is a Stones influenced gritty rocker, and both "End of Life as We Know It" and "C-List Celebrity" could have been a fine addition to any UFO album past or present, with the latter a crunchy number with some sizzling guitar work. The atmospheric "We Will Be Strong" has perhaps Raymond's best vocals on the CD, along with some great keyboard and guitar work, and "Whiskey Mac" is a wonderful, metallic blues-rock instrumental again features some killer guitar playing. Mr. Schenker appears on the remake of "Reach Out (I'll Be There)", an interesting rock take on this R&B classic, with Michael's trademark licks front and center, and Archer lends his vocal might to the tender ballad "Love is Blind". Another strong piece here is the smoldering blues-rock of "If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody", highlighted by some outstanding Hammond organ from Raymond, and the final cut "Partners In Crime" has a strong '80s UFO feel, complete with powerful vocals, a catchy hook, and sizzling guitar riffs, organ, and harmonica.
Terms & Conditions Apply is a fun album, and arguably more rocking in spots than the recent output from UFO. While there are probably a few too many songs here (a couple being on the bland side), there are a host of really strong tracks and overall this is certainly worth seeking out if you are a fan of the various bands Raymond has been in over the years. Good stuff!
1. Born & Raised On Rock 'N' Roll
2. End Of Life As We Know It
3. Deeper Shade Of Blue
4. C-List Celebrity
5. We Will Be Strong
6. Terms & Conditions
7. Whiskey Mac
8. Bright Lights
9. Reach Out (I'll Be There)
(featuring. Michael Schenker)
10. Love Is Blind (featuring Reuben Archer)
11. If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody
12. Still The Same
13. Drifting Apart
14. Partners In Crime