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Bullfrog: High Flyer

Italy’s Bullfrog return and this time they are hitting the heights with their High Flyer, an album rich in the hard rock foundations of the 60s and 70s and which also cavorts with the blues. Created round the brothers Dalla Riva, singer and bassist Francesco and drummer Michelle have that intrinsic bond that only siblings can as they weave the thick and strong foundations from which the vintage guitar forays from Silvano Zago run free. With a looseness that allows proceedings to flow in the most natural style, where this trio really make things tick is by understanding that they also have to coral their intentions to be able to craft their more wide ranging tendencies into tight surges that hit with real authority. There’s a jam band feel in play at times, but Bullfrog never meander in search of their prize, instead knowing that a sound that takes cues from Zeppelin and Free needs to have real direction to find its way home.

That said the relaxed tone of “Out On The Wide Sea” rocks and rolls with an easy, honest tone and an unforced nature, quickly grabbing you by the hand and hauling you onboard the good ship Bullfrog for what is a groove laden journey. Francesco possesses one of those gritty lived in voices that both barks with intent and caresses the senses, a similarity in the forceful but likeable approach to that which The Answer’s Cormac Neeson can conjure. In less capable hands the trudge of “Blind Leader” could be rather listless but here the journey is given an uplifting pay off that stays long with you.

With the guest keyboard work from Fabio Serra adding depth throughout, the likes of “Lola Plays The Blues” finds more than enough room for Zago to stretch out and let loose and yet he never abuses that position. Instead the control the fretsmith provides unlocks the real force of a power trio; feel and groove always at the centre of the likes of “Dance Trough The Fire” and “Johnny Left The Village”. Although when the need arises he can also add a few fret flash-bombs that will satisfy those thirsty for more guitar action, leaving a more honest and rewarding path in his wake and one that still stays true no matter how many times you stride down it. High Flyer is one of those albums that never quite blows your socks off, instead warming you from the inside out and living long in the memory as it does so.


Track Listing
1. LOLA PLAYS THE BLUES

2. LOSING TIME

3. HOT ROD

4. BEGGARS AND LOSERS

5. DANGEROUS TRAILS

6. JOHNNY LEFT THE VILLAGE

7. DANCE THROUGH THE FIRE

8. THREE ROSES

9. OUT ON THE WIDE SEA

10. BLIND LEADER

11. RIVER OF TEARS

Added: December 23rd 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: High Flyer @ The Grooveyard
Hits: 435
Language: english

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