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Metal Mayhem Music
Produced by: Jeff Northrup

Released: OUT / Website
GENRE: Hard Rock

  1. Fire + Water
  2. Sheila
  3. Fat City
  4. Rain
  5. She's Waiting
  6. The Kid Is Back
  7. Candy Apple Red
  8. Outside Looking In
  9. Survival
  10. IMNU
  11. The West

Take a trip back 15 years to the classic sound of hard driving melodic American stadium rock.
This is a fabulous heavy rock album of major label standard that will slay any fans of hard guitars, big vocals and that traditional American 80's hard rock sound.
The album was originally recorded in the early 90's I believe, but was another victim of the grunge revolution. Had it been released then, it would have had a great chance of commercial success. Thankfully at least, now thanks to the good people at Metal Mayhem Music it will finally see the light of day.
Due to the nature of today's more restricted rock scene, not as many people are going to hear this as would have in the prime of the hard rock era, but those that do will no doubt appreciate ever so much more, due to the fact records with a classic sound such as this are few and far between.
And few records have such a classic vocalist as Johnny Edwards at the helm.
Those that only know Johnny from his one time stint with Foreigner will get the shock of their lives when they hear his awesome vocals shred the walls, with the harder edge Foreigner were probably scared of!
Those who are more familiar with him already know he can sing his heart out on the heavier material. Mind you, I have never heard him shred as hard as this.
Same can be said for guitarist Jeff Northrup, who turns in the performance of his career.
This is a big fast tempo'd hard rock record, with lots of shredding riffs, a really high production volume level (played at maximum is always best) and lots of power chords and vocals. Only She's Waiting and Rain are anything other than maximum tempo. Grouping the two songs together mid record offers a good change of pace half way through proceedings. Musically, Rain was actually used as part of Johnny's experience in Foreigner. The Unusual Heat record features an alternative, softer version of this song, called Ready For The Rain. That version is a little better - obviously slicker and helped by the additional writing and production talents of Mick Jones used. But otherwise, a classy song anyway.
The only noticeable drop in the otherwise relentless high-powered onslaught is on the track Survival. It sounds like it could be from an alternative recording session - the production quality is not as good.
IMNU incidentally, is an instrumental track.
BOTTOM LINE: This is easily my favourite record from both these class guys. There is a move to get the two of them back together for a new album sometime soon, so I hope they pick up where they left off - so many years ago!
In the meantime, enjoy this slice of an era past - and play it loud like it deserves.
ESSENTIAL FOR: All hard and fast guitar fans, fans of Johnny Edwards and Jeff Northrup. 80's hard rock fans.

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