I’ve been a fan of Hardline since hearing the track 'Can’t Find My Way' during the Brandon Lee movie 'Rapid Fire', I went out and bought 'Double Eclipse' the following day. Some 27 years have passed since that album and now Johnny and the gang are back with their new album, simply called 'Life'.
The first play through of this album had me looking for ripped jeans, a bandana and a trusty bud bottle to use as my mic, it was a sheer blast from the past and I loved it. I have all of Hardline’s albums and in my opinion they never reached the quality of 'Double Eclipse' again......until now that is.
'Place To Call Home' is a fantastic opener, well structured with excellent harmonies and hooks this is a song that you need to play loud, whether you’re in a car or in the house open the windows and let everybody hear. 'Take A Chance' is a decent track, it’s not the fastest paced track but it’s extremely well layered with the thundering bass line and guitars melding perfectly, this is a song that all Hardline fans will enjoy listening and singing along to. 'Helios Sun' had me going from the first chord, fast paced with a driving beat that had my feet pounding along in time which made typing quite hard. I’m sure I annoyed the neighbours with this song as I played it so many times, definitely one of the highlights of the album for me.
'Page Of Your 'is the first ballad on the album with a soulful piano opening leading into a guitar laden power ballad that Hardline are so adept at producing , it’s definitely a song that will have people with their phones lit up swaying backwards and forwards trying to reach the stars. 'Out Of Time' sets off at a blistering pace that is relentless and is an almost perfect song except for a slight tempo change at 2.36 that just felt out of place, up until that point the song flowed beautifully and would have been my pick of the bunch if it wasn’t that change. 'Hold On To Right' with a solid hard rock opening this track had the potential to be a true gem sadly whilst I usually love hearing guitar work as good as this I felt it became a little bit self indulgent which took a bit of shine off the track.
I loved the opening of 'Handful Of Sand', and speaking of the quality that was about to become, it did not disappoint. It is a beautifully composed song that should be playing on radio stations around the world. 'This Love' is the second true ballad of the album the band utilized a piano opening again,the problem with some rock ballads is that it doesn’t matter how good a band is more often than not they sound similar to many bands of the same genre. 'Story Of My Life' comes blasting out of the start gates and tears along at a nice uptempo pace and I must admit that at times it reminded me of 'Hot Cherie' from 'Double Eclipse' and it also my favourite song on this album.
Of all the Queen songs to cover I thought that 'Who Wants To Live Forever' would be a mistake, but it was me who was mistaken. While Johnny never quite reached the pitch Freddie Mercury did he did himself proud and can hold his head up high for successfully taking on one of in my opinion Queens best songs.
'Chameleon' started of slowly and built up to a steady mid tempo rocker, it has the kind of rhythm that will get people out of their seats and have them punching the air while trying to drunkenly remember the words. 'My Friend', the closer is another ballad. However this is an entirely acoustic/semi-acoustic number which sets it apart from the majority of ballads, there are no soaring vocals or power chords and is the perfect kind of song to finish an album of this high quality.
Hardline's latest offering 'Life' does have it’s flaws but they are few and far between and they don’t affect the overall quality of the album and in my opinion is the best that they’ve released since 'Double Eclipse' way back in 1992, and proves that there is plenty of Life left in this band yet.
I highly recommend spending your hard earned money on this album you won’t be disappointed.
Score 30 out of 33 1/3Review by Hollywood Vampyre
Johnny Gioeli - Vocals
Alessandro Del Vecchio - Keyboards
Mario Percudani - Guitar
Marco Di Salvia - Drums
Anna Portalupi - Bass
|Place To Call Home|
|Take A Chance|
|Page Of Your Life|
|Out Of Time|
|Hold On To Right|
|Handful Of Sand|
|Story Of My Life|
|Who Wants To Live Forever|
Pre-Order CD / Vinyl: http://radi.al/HardlineLife