For some inane and unknown reason, this third album from Melbourne’s White Widdow initially fell under this reviewer’s radar – which is something which almost became a crying shame as it is a hugely powerful slice of melodic rock.
Very much rooted in the classic Eighties roots of the genre, these Australian widdows bring a fresh and vibrant approach, combining massive melodies with huge hooks, anthemic vocals and flawless songwriting abilities. The performances – from the vibrant vocals of Jules Mills through the soaring guitars of Enzo Almanzi, both underpinned by the rock solid rhythms of Ben Webster and Noel Tenny (on bass and drums respectively) and accentuated by the well-punctuated keyboards of Xavier Mills – are equally perfect in every respect, with the musicians matching each other with more than capable aplomb.
The songs, from the anthemic punch of opener ‘Caught In The Crossfire’ through the suitably soaring ‘Fly Me Away’, the Foreigner-evoking beauty of ‘Just Another Night’ to the majestic ‘Dreams Don’t Die’, the classic triumphalism of ‘Too Many Tears’, the high velocity heartbreak of ‘Angel’, the Survivor-esque punch of ‘Born To Be A Rebel’ through the soaring finale of ‘Never Again’, are superbly crafted and delivered.
‘Crossfire’ is proof that good melodic hard rock, thoughtfully done and injected with the right degree of passion and commitment, is one of the most enervating and redemptive musical forms around. I, for one, have been glad to be caught in this album’s sights.
Caught In The Crossfire / Fly Me Away / Just Another Night / Below The Belt / Dreams Don’t Die / Too Many Tears / Angel / Born To Be A Rebel / Carry The Heartache / Never Again
Recommended listening: Dreams Don’t Die
‘Crossfire’ is out now on AOR Heaven.
White Widdow are currently touring the UK with Night By Night and play HRH AOR on Saturday (March 14).