A blood curdling scream opens up the intro to this album, followed by a soaring solo, and then its straight into 2Alone I cry” , its now time to take a breather, and to find out a bit more about David Mark Pearce.
A guitarist, songwriter and producer from Penzance, Pearce started out playing drums, before switching to guitar when aged 15. After working with various local bands, he got his big break when he joined keyboard player Oliver Wakeman. Since then he’s worked regularly with the one-time Yes man, as well as being involved with other projects.
On June 27, Pearce releases his debut album Strange Ang3ls through AOR Heaven. It features vocalists Goran Edman (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum and Talisman) and John Payne (Asia Featuring John Payne, GPS, 2KX) keyboard player Lisa LaRue; bassist C S Brown (Ghost Circus) and drummer Mikael Wikman (ex-Vindictiv). Oliver Wakeman also guests.
This record starts of very strong, and unlike a lot of releases, there are no fillers, in fact with each new song, we discover a little bit more of davids song writing skills.
I take a look at the cd cover, and smile.
The soaring vocals from Goran Edman and John Payne, join forces with Davids guitar work perfectly, a lot of effort has gone into this opus, and its shows, every song shines through as a first class AOR song, well constructed, moving at times, rocking in others.
Keyboardist Lisa larue compliments the songs beautifully, especially on the instrumental “Every time it rains”, its not often you get an instrumental on a debut record, as it could be seen as over self indulgent, however this one works; as it fits into the heart of the record, something I suspect david wanted.
And once again I take a peek at the cd cover.
For a guitarist to allow a keyboard player to take such a complimentary role on a guitarist’s debut album shows a maturity and understanding towards what a song should be about, depth, substance, catchy hooks and counter melodies; and if that means the keyboards takes the lead for a couple of verse’s, then so be it, this record is clearly not about how good David can play guitar, and believe me, he can play, this is all about how good Davids songwriting skills are.
The title track is up next “Strange Angels”, another song where Lisa plays the intro beautifully, setting the song up nicely for a full on solo from David, and then he compliments Lisa with some nice chunky riffage as back up to her atmospheric playing.
“To live again” is track number 7, and this shows off David’s guitar playing skills to the max, soaring solo’s really drive this song along, its great.
I take another look at the cover, just to see if ive missed anything.
“Save your prayers” is up next, a beautifully arranged love song, gentle keyboard work and restrained playing from David, helps turn this song an emotional rollercoaster.
“Eden is burning” is another showcase to show off Davids guiter skills, but as each song has a different tempo, a different feel, I never tire of hearing him play.
“So far from home” brings the record to a close, and on a high, another dose of classic AOR.
And I once again I cant help looking at the cover, its an amazing drawing, done by Lorenzo Sperlonga, if your not familiar with him he did some of the ‘Heavy Metal’ comic covers.
Strange Angels is out on AOR HEAVEN on 27th June 2011.
You can download “Shelter me from the rain” for free. here.