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Fugitive: #EP : Not Guilty

When is a single not a single? Well, when it’s an EP of course… or in the case of #EP : Not Guilty, when it’s actually an album! Showcasing three new tracks recorded under lockdown, Fugitive, a bunch of veteran Liverpool, UK rockers, decided not to simply slap out a single, instead, while still keeping it at a budget price, adding a further nine tracks from their past so that any new fans caught along the way can get a flavour of what this band have been all about. So, a twelve song effort this became and one that actually makes for a mighty fine album length release.

The three new cuts show up first, the band’s line-up of David Haskayne (bass), Pete O’Connor (drums), Ranko (guitars) and Michael Angel (voice) immediately suggesting that this latest incarnation of the band (of which there have been a few over the years) might just be their strongest yet. The band themselves agree that previously suggested likenesses to Dokken, Autograph, Night Ranger and Whitesnake are pretty accurate and who am I to argue? It’s the title track which shows up first, “Not Guilty” cutting a melodic pose that draws you in on a clever guitar motif and biting riff. Angel’s vocals are clear, forceful and, as is a band trait, layered as though the 90s never happened (how nice would that be??), with his delivery confident but pleasantly vulnerable as it positively drips with emotion. From there it’s “Back In Business” which bites at your heels from a mid-paced standpoint, although it might just be the hook laden singalong of “Raised On Radio” which takes top spot from the new material.

The other nine tracks on show are culled - three each - from each of the full length Fugitive albums that have been released over the years. The Awakening saw the light of day in 2019 and right from the ‘Owwwwww-owwwww-owwwwwwww!’ that introduces the song, you know that Whitesnake ‘1987’ era is being evoked, but then “Light It Up” adds that earlier suggested Autograph like-vibe to proceedings, before “All Fired Up” heads further down the Sunset Strip to seek its good times. With all three being ‘single-edits’, for long term fans, it’s also worth noting that none of these three song versions have previously seen the light of day on CD.

The two earlier Fugitive albums - In Transit and Black Planet - also have a lot to like about them and the half dozen tracks presented here prove exactly that. From the latter it’s “A Lot To Lose” and it’s mix of 70s classic rock and 80s high kicking sleaze that really grabs the attention, while from In Transit it’s the almost Extreme meets FM like “Every Drop Of Rain” and its clever use of brass that I simply can never get enough of, but all six tracks are well worth checking out.

If you love your hard rock full of memorable hooks, choruses that stay long in the mind and from a band with a clear passion for what they do, then this is for you. And with the twelve excellent, career spanning tracks this single/EP/album offers up, it’s as good a place as any to go out on the run and become a Fugitive.

Track Listing
1. #Not Guilty
2. Back In Business
3. Raised On Rock
4. Slave To Love
5. Light It Up
6. All Fired Up
7. Kiss My Heart Goodbye
8. A Lot To Lose
9. Black Planet
10. Look Inside Your Heart
11. Every Drop Of Rain
12. Alive

Added: September 11th 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Fugitive online
Hits: 731
Language: english

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