For a reviewer personally speaking, ten tracks is fine, twelve is a challenge but come on Fugitive! Fourteen of them. FOURTEEN with new album The Awakening but I digress as I’m only joking as it’s a fine hard rock album to say the least.
Due for release on April 5th 2019, the CD format is available for £10.99 with an album launch party at the Swinging Arm in Birkenhead the previous night and can be pre ordered by clicking on the ‘more details’ link. ‘Serendipity’ is a strong opener, all brash AOR, drum heavy topped off with some deft fretboard wizardry from lead guitarist Ranko ‘Chip’ Veltro backed by a biting lead vocal from Michael Angel that tugs at the heart strings. ‘Light It Up’ has more laid back vocals over gritty hard rock. A feel good vibe flows through ‘The Weekend’, celebrating the joys of live music. The jams are well and truly kicked out during ‘Slave To Love’, a hefty riffer, a vocal tour de force and solos cranked up to eleven!
‘All Fired Up’ lives up to its name with headbanging dynamics and huge choruses. The poignant ‘Two Hearts’ flits from heavy guitars to power balladry in the blink of an eye. ‘Message (prelude)’ elegantly precedes ‘Message’ as it shifts up a gear to Styx like pomp that has rock radio airplay written all over it. ‘Race The Rain’ chugs along in ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ mode with soul searching lyrics and a laid back guitar solo midway but it turns on its head for a full on outro. ‘Standing At The Edge’, a sure fire stadium rock ballad would surely have lighters in the air from a crowd basking in its glory.
‘Moonshine’ is a quirky rocker portraying the darker side of alcohol containing the line “A cup of tea is the new JD!”. ‘Resurrection’ is another tale of love lost, given a boost by a shimmering lead break. ‘Payback’ sees their heavier side return with the guitars of Michael and Ranko dominating by throwing down some potent riffs. The album closes with the autobiographical ‘Awaecan’, telling how Fugitive have awakened since a major line up change in 2017 with Michael and Ranko joined by David Steele on bass guitar/backing vocals and Al Catraz on drums. The powerful lyrics are delivered over beautiful guitar lines and strings.