Fireworks

Roadhouse - 'Dark Angel' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/9b/ff/55/2305_roadhousedarkangel_1339691389.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 14, 2012    
 
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A well-crafted set of songs, with classy musicianship throughout.

Roadhouse has been treading the boards around Europe for the best part of twenty years now, and ‘Dark Angel’ is their eleventh album release in that time, so it’s somewhat of a surprise that they’re not too well known. Although they have appeared at numerous big-name festivals (most notably Glastonbury 2010) and supported the likes of Walter Trout, The Yardbirds, Joe Bonamassa and Pat Travers, they are still primarily known as a pub-rock band – and there’s nothing wrong with that, how many bands have you seen over the years that never got the break into the big-time?

Led by vocalist/guitarist Gary Boner, Roadhouse is a collaboration between experienced musicians and much younger female vocalists. They offer up Blues-based Rock with elements of Southern Rock Americana. The strong female backing vocals conjure up images of prime Lynyrd Skynyrd on ‘Swamp Girl’ and the brooding soulful epic ‘Dark Angel’, ‘Tornado’ hints at Steely Dan, while there’s a strong Eagles influence on ‘Rainmaker’ – it’s very similar to ‘Take It Easy’. The female vocalists Mandie G., Kelly Marie Hobbs and Suzi D. get a share of the spotlight, taking a lead on one song each, a cover of T-Bone Walker’s slow-blues ‘Stormy Monday’, the Santana sounding ‘So Over You’, and a great Stevie Nicks impression on ‘Play With Fire.’

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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It’s a well-crafted set of songs, with classy musicianship throughout, especially the impressive guitar work from Gary Boner and Danny Gwilym. The only complaint I have about the album is Mr. Boner’s vocal range, which is rather limited to say the least, and he is often drowned out by the strong backing vocals. I don’t want to be to hard on Boner, but it speaks volumes to me that while they’re not the best overall songs on the album, the three tracks that feature the female singers prominently stand head and shoulders above the others due to the excellent vocals. I wouldn’t say ‘Dark Angel’ was an album to avoid as it actually is well worth a listen, but due to some of the vocals I would probably recommend that you try before you buy.

Ant Heeks

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