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Unruly Child: Worlds Collide

Frontiers seem to be having a somewhat very productive phase at the moment, pleasing this reviewer to no end, releasing some awesome melodic rock / aor albums. They are a label that litters my album collection, as the music they release presses all my buttons, in a good way.

Well, thanks to the guys at Frontiers, melodic rock heaven has stepped back into town again in the form of Unruly Child. Sixteen years or so, after leaving, Marcie Michelle Free (vocals), Bruce Gowdy (guitars), Guy Allison (keyboards), Larry Antonino (bass) and Jay Schellen (drums) are back having written and recorded this stunning album. During their hiatus from Unruly Child each band member has been busy doing their own thing. Ladies and gentlemen this has certainly not been time wasted. No siree.

Gowdy, Free, Allison and co just seem to have a knack of being able to find the right balance of rocky, up tempo, melodic, commercial tinged rock. Guitar breaks are pitched perfect, supported by some really nice rhythm work, the keyboards are at the right balance coming to the fore when required, all being under pinned by Antonio' punchy bass and Schellen' powerful drumming, although never dominating. Even after all these years, Free still has a vocal range that can cut it, which is why he is held in such high regard.

"Show Me The Money" sets its stalls out with its strong bass lines and features to my ears the best guitar solo on the album, whilst "Insane" is probably the weakest track, being slightly labored. This is the only dip on the album, as it's not long before the band is back on top form. "When We Were Young" is a real show stopper with its smooth, silky guitar runs and as ever Free's stunning workouts, bouncy lyrics and catchy hooks, which sees the band warmed up and in full flight. Ballad time comes in the form of "Tell Another Lie" with it's heartfelt and emotional vocals, powerful compositional approach, both Free and Gowdy vying for poll position, neither winning outright, the only winner being the listener. "Love Is Blind" sees the boys throwing down their gauntlet, rocking out with a really nice groove, which reminded me slightly of Kevin Chalfant, offering the exact balance of fine toned melodies and harmonies.

From here on in the album just builds and builds, "When Worlds Collide" just melts your ears, making it a fitting arena rock song. "Talk To Me" with its acoustic lead blues feel, "Life Death" with its dark and creepy tones, "Read My Mind" with its stunning harmonies, nice tempo and catchy chorus, the attitude ridden "Neverland" and the radio friendly "Very First Time" which also features that up tempo approach that has been used to great effect throughout. All good things come to those who wait, with thought provoking lyrics, the album closer "You Don't Understand". Free lays bare his soul with some deeply personnel lyrical content about his long battle with gender dysphoria and features some very note worth musical interaction. You can't ask for anything more from a band or album.

This band has produced a very clean, beautiful and dynamic album, which needs to be added to your collection. For years albums like these have been recorded, gaining no real recognition as such, except in elite circles, becoming cult classics. This is a circle that needs to be broken.

Track Listing
1 Show Me The Money
2 Insane
3 When We Were Young
4 Tell Another Lie
5 Love Is Blind
6 When Worlds Collide
7 Talk To Me
8 Life Death
9 Read My Mind
10 Neverland
11 Very First Time
12 You Don't Understand

Added: October 20th 2010
Reviewer: John OBoyle
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 1655
Language: english

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