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First Signal: One Step Over the Line

The concept for First Signal began in 2010 when Harem Scarem vocalist Harry Hess and producer Dennis Ward were presented with some melodic rock songs from Frontiers Records President Serafino Perugino as a way to capture the sound of Hess' band, who at the time were on hiatus. That first self-titled album met with critical acclaim, but with Harem Scarem regrouping shortly after, Hess has been sort of busy in the subsequent years. Fast forward to 2016, and the vocalist has gotten together with producer Daniel Flores and various songwriters to put together the sophomore First Signal album, One Step Over the Line. Musicians on the album include Michael Palace on guitars and bass, Daniel Flores on drums and keyboards, and background vocals from Harem Scarem bandmate (and Red Dragon Cartel singer) Darren Smith, Alessandro Del Vecchio, Nigel Bailey, Daniel Flores, Rolf Pilotti and Angelica Rylin.

Once again, it's late '80s styled AOR/melodic rock which remains the focus, and it's not hard to get instantly swept away by the boatload of memorable melodies and hooks here on One Step Over the Line. From the alluring ballads like "Broken" or "Still Pretending" to the more hard rocking "Love Run Free" and "Minute of Your Time", there's plenty of variety and instantly catchy material on display. It's all expertly produced and layered, with the lead & backing vocals so rich & addicting, the tasty guitars and keyboards perfectly complementing but never overpowering. "She is Getting Away", "December Rain", and the title track are easy recommendations for fans of classic Harem Scarem, as well as the mega '80s bands like Journey, Foreigner, and Bon Jovi, while "Pedestal" allows the band to rock out for one of the heavier tunes on the album. Through it all, Hess sounds absolutely fantastic, showing once again why he's one of the most talented vocalists on the melodic rock scene.

If you have a soft spot for instantly memorable melodies and soaring hooks, One Step Over the Line is an album you'll want to have in your collection. It's not hard to imagine how much attention and airplay this album might have gotten had it been released in 1986, but that doesn't mean it can't be enjoyed by the masses here in 2016.

Track Listing
01.Love run free
02.Love gets through
03.Still pretending
06.Minute of your time
07.She is getting away
08.December rain
09.Weigh me in
11.One step over the line

Added: June 9th 2016
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Frontiers Records
Hits: 2129
Language: english

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