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Youngblood - 'No Retreat' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/89/29/2a/2710_YoungBloodNoRetreat_1346949119.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 06, 2012    
 
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Bombastic, cock-sure rock.

Much though I love the sound of late 70s pomp, 80s metal and early 90s rock, there comes a time when my wallet groans at the prospect of buying yet another reissue that I already own on vinyl, or CD. However with Eonian Records, unearthing rare recordings and demos from bands who, for whatever reason - we’ve all heard the stories - never got the breaks or the record deal that their music deserved, there is a way to satisfy my yearnings without continuing down the repeat purchase cul-de-sac.

In the case of Youngblood, the songs are actually way better than demo quality, with the band, which was at the time a three piece of singer Bobby Sisk (his previous band Wanted also have an album out through Eonian), keyboard player Danny Williams and Jeff Diehl who handled everything from drums and bass to all the guitar parts, recording an amazing 45 songs with the help of Sony/Epic Records management firm James Bogart Associates - although without an actual deal to release an album being signed. Still, this allowed for the tracks to be fully mixed and mastered, something which raises this effort far above the usual collections of “unreleased rarities” by some distance. In terms of approach, the first impression you get is that the songs that make up ‘No Retreat’ could easily have become a fantastic follow up to Slaughter’s debut 1990 release ‘Stick It To Ya’, if it wasn’t for the fact that these songs actually came together in 1989! I wonder if Slaughter were standing at the door listening....

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Sisk had a voice hugely reminiscent of Mark Slaughter, with his impressive, ear shattering range being reinforced by a rip-roaring power that embellishes the mighty guitar led, but keyboard infused, good time (insert your own prefix from hair, arena, cock) rock perfectly. The songs range from all out party rockers, ‘Sock It To Me’, ‘Taste Of Your Lovin’’, through acoustic led pleas to your girl, ‘Find A Way’, ‘My One And Only’, to the surprisingly thoughtful and punchy ‘You Gotta Go’, a lyrically out of place, but musically spot-on track written about the US invasion of Iraq. The sparky guitar pyrotechnics from Diehl (who would go on to work with Gene Simmons) and Sisk’s huge voice impress throughout, but in truth it is the songs themselves that have you asking why Youngblood never caught that elusive break. From there the triumvirate sprouted into a six-piece, adding guitarist Eric Saylors, bassist Kyle Koker and drummer Kevin Kale, before spending the next two years playing live in an attempt to get their music released, although finally breaking up when Sisk accepted a part in a Broadway show.

If you love the bombastic, cock-sure rock that made the 80s and early 90s such a great time for music, then you’ll adore ‘No Retreat’, especially seeing as the European version contains three bonus tracks that are every bit as good as the rest of the album!

Steven Reid

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