Out now on Frontiers Records
Touted by the label as the successor to Harem Scarem, First Signal is essentially a collaboration between Harry Hess and Dennis Ward. I never really cared for Harem Scarem, so I was curious to see if this new project could tickle my fancy.
Most of the tunes fall on the heavier side of the AOR fence. I’m not exactly taken by Hess’ voice, but that’s personal taste. The man is a good singer by anybody’s standards.
Overall the album has a decidedly 21st century vibe about it, not in the least because of some of the keyboard arrangements. The songwriting is classy enough not to have to rely on gimmicks though. There’s no misguided attempts at mainstream airplay either.
Michael Klein is an excellent guitarist who adds the necessary flourishes. With Dennis Ward on board, there’s no need to worry about production. Crisp and alive, an excellent job.
Another highly competent melodic rock release.
Rating – 88%
Review by Sancho