It’s a return flight for me with Airrace as I first saw them support Ted Nugent at the Hammersmith Odeon in Feb 1984 and here I am today reviewing their executive class new studio album Untold Stories, released by Frontiers Music Srl on August 10th 2018.
Laurie Mansworth returns with a new line up, have been hitting the road with aplomb and have penned eleven strong tracks of gripping AOR. Opener ‘Running Out Of Time’ is so laid back it could be horizontal during the intro but soon pomps up to the max backed up by a sumptuous lead vocal from Adam Payne. Instantly memorable choruses and some tasty guitar work from Laurie make it an early highlight. Classic Damn Yankees with keyboards comes to mind as Linda Kelsey Foster provides the melodies that lift ‘Innocent’ higher and higher.
The title of ‘Eyes Like Ice’ is captured by the dark riffs, swathes of keys and haunting lyrics as things heavy up in ‘Different But The Same’ with Adam wailing over a hefty musical backdrop featuring a trip down memory lane like Deep Purple tinged guitar and keyboard segment midway. ‘New Skin’ is pure AOR heaven from start to finish and I had it on repeat play a few times before I moved onto ‘Lost’, the first ballad that finally arrived but is well worth the wait as it wears its Reo Speedwagon heart on its sleeve as Linda’s piano playing could melt the coldest of hearts.
‘Love Is Love’ is a phones in the air (not lighters anymore) stadium filler with urgent grooves that lead to sugar sweet choruses. ‘Men From The Boys’ is down in the gutter with this edgy slice of sleaze rock. The second ballad ‘Summer Rain’ is a touch heavier than ‘Lost’ as laid back riffs provide the base for a heartfelt vocal. ‘Come With Us’ is all about the riffs. Riffs with a wrecking ball attached to them with a nod to Leppard era High And Dry. Final track ‘Here It Comes’ provides a feel good factor to close a very impressive album. Grooves propel along on a wave of killer hooks and THAT vocal once again steals the show!
Untold Stories album track listing :-
Running Out Of Time.
Eyes Like Ice.
Different But The Same.
Love Is Love.
Men From The Boys.
Come With Us.
Here It Comes.