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Wheels Of Fire - 'Hollywood Rocks' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/71/d5/e0/564_wheelsoffirehollywoodrocks_1284745258.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 17, 2010    
 
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Solid start for Wheels Of Fire.

'Hollywood Rocks' is the feel good debut album from Wheels Of Fire, a hungry young Italian outfit led by Davide ‘Dave Rox’ Barbieri on vocals and keyboards, with guitarist Stefano Zeni and the rhythm section of Roberto Galli (bass) and Andrea Zingrillo (drums) making up the rest of the quartet. Barbieri has found a collaborator in Michele Luppi (one time vocalist with power-proggers Vision Divine and currently fronting Killing Touch) who had a hand in both the songwriting and production of Hollywood Rocks in addition contributing background vocals and some piano work. As the title implies this is an album heavily influenced by the 80’s LA scene and the Sunset Strip and appears to be aimed squarely at fans of Winger, Firehouse and early Bon Jovi.

Clean production, strong hooks, melodic choruses and uplifting harmonies are much in evidence as Wheels Of Fire show all the right behaviours in recapturing the sounds of thirty years previous. Barbieri’s vocals can be heavily accented at times but this is really only a minor quibble as for the most part this is an album that does exactly what you would expect; the punchy title track sets the scene, ‘Everywhere I Go’ and ‘Rock The World’ are the typical party rockers and they also manage to deliver a strong piano led ballad in the shape of ‘I Can’t Live My Life’. In fact Wheels Of Fire don’t deviate from the blueprint until the closing ‘Love Nest’ which checks in at close on eight minutes and is a real ‘throw everything but the kitchen sink at’ number that incorporates a string arrangement and showcases what is Barbieri’s strongest delivery throughout and is only spoilt by a fade out during the promising Schon-esque guitar solo.

A competent slice of old school Melodic Rock, albeit at times somewhat safe and lacking in originality, ‘Hollywood Rocks’ is a solid start for Wheels Of Fire. The challenge will be to deliver a follow-up that goes some way further in establishing an identity of their own.

Dean Pedley

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