Due to the heavier nature of the new Journey album it got me thinking about other projects featuring Neal Schon and Journey members. One is The Storm that features members of the pre-Perry line up whose album I do not own but it is very Journeyesque. The other two I am going to review now.
Bad English: S/T
The band was formed after Journey folded in 1988. It is their debut album that is the better of the two they released. The album features Neal Schon and Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain, who reunites with former members of his old band The Babys. These are singer John Waite (who had solo success with 'Missing You' in '84) and bass player Ricky Phillips. The drum stool was filled by current Journey and session man Deen Castronovo. The album is filled with the 80's rockers and ballads and is many ways similar to Schon and Cain's day job, Schon's guitar playing is very intricate and melodic but also restrained. This isn't to say they are not heavy, on the opening track ' Best of What I Got' (featured in the movie Tango & Cash) Schon shows his chops in the intro and continues to do so throughout the album. The playing as usual is great but with a leaning towards, albeit heavier than Journey’s, balladry they album can drag slightly and may not be as rocked up as some may expect. Waite's voice is suited to this style though, he is not Steve Perry but he is not supposed to be. This is a band finding a new identity playing what they are good at. 8/10
Hardline: Double Eclipse
Originally meant to be just a producer, Neal Schon managed to take the position of lead guitarist on this album. The majority was written by Schon and Brothers Johnny and Joey Gioeli who were on vocals and guitar respectively, the drum stool is again filled by Mr Castronovo with bass handled by session man Todd Jensen. This is the album that Schon should have made years ago suitably heavy and rocking with the right amount of balladry to even it out. From the opener 'Life's A Bitch' we know the score heavy blues influence rocking that screams hair metal. Despite coming at the end of the hair metal era (1992) it still manages to hold its own against other giants. The tracks are all fairly heavy with 'Rhythm from a Red Car' being one of the best rock songs I have heard from that era. The album itself should have been huge and would have been had it been released in 1984 alongside Whitesnake's album of the same name. While the other Hardline albums don't feature Schon's magic touch, they are also good which shows why Johnny Gioeli is in demand as rock and metal vocalist (as well as being the voice of the Sonic theme tunes). This album is well worth your time if you’re a fan of Journey, Neal Schon or 80's rock in general. Well worth seeking out! 9/10
I will review The Storm if I can get a hold of the album
Bad English: http://youtu.be/sfpTt6t1cUc