Frank DiMino is best known to rockers of a certain vintage as the frontman of US glamsters Angel, the band discovered by Kiss bassist Gene Simmons playing in a New York nightclub and subsequently signed to the band’s Casablanca label, for whom they recorded a series of acclaimed albums in the late Seventies – as well as being famed for their all-white stage attire and androgynous image!
Now, almost four decades after first emerging onto the rock scene, DiMino has released his first ever solo album – an opus which sees him collaborating with the likes of Stryper’s Oz Fox, Eddie Ojeda of the soon-to-be-defunct Twisted Sister, the one and only Rickey Medlocke as well as former Angel bandmates Punky Meadows and Barry Brandt.
‘Old Habits…’ has “classic” written all over it. It is a glorious, sumptuous melodic rock album, featuring absolutely stunning performances – not least from DiMino himself, who sounds as fresh and vibrant as a singer half his age but delivers the richness that only comes with age – and a faultless collection of songs, each played with the perfect balance of energy and experience. Unlike the band with whom he found fame, this is no squeaky clean, whiter-that-whiteness: no, every song – even ballads such as the beautiful ‘Even Now’, with its multiple vocal harmonies – is as dirty as a whore’s knickers after a busy night shift, with more than enough grit, gristle and grunt to keep even the most accomplished butcher carving for a month of Sundays.
DiMino’s vocals are stunning: rich, mellifluous and delivered from the very depths of his soul, he elaborates and enunciates every miniscule of melody with grace and ease, his voice soaring and sweeping from the darkest reaches of his adopted Las Vegas’ gutters to the topmost penthouse of the nearest luxury penthouse. From the anthemic single ‘Rockin In The City’ to the gnarly ‘Tonight’s The Night’, the elegiac ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You’ to the fast and furious pound ‘n’ ground of ‘Mad As Hell’ and ‘The Quest’, the singer demonstrates a passion, fury and genuine love for delivering great rock songs which serves as an emphatic lesson to many of today’s young pretenders for whom singing seems to be such an alien concept and once again proves that, in the hands of people such as the good folks at Frontiers Music, the classic melodic rock format is in very safe hands and has a future brighter than a new dawn on Mercury.
Never Again / Rockin In The City / I Can’t Stop Loving You / The Rain’s About To Fall / Even Now / Tears Will Fall / Mad As Hell / Sweet Sensation / Tonight’s The Night / The Quest / Stones By The River
Recommended listening: The Rain’s About To Fall
‘Old Habits Die Hard’ is out now on Frontiers Records.