Friday, August 19, 2011

Review: Airrace “Back To The Start”

AOR/Melodic Rock
How many old school rockers remember Airrace? The band formed back in London in 1982 and had a Beau Hill produced debut called “Shaft Of Light” (1984). The record didn’t bring the success it deserved, and it is now respected as an underground classic. Just a teenage guitarist at the time, Laurie Mansworth was able to recruit former Girl singer Phillip Lewis and none other than Jason Bonham on drums.

It took a 25th anniversary reissue of “Shaft Of Light” to reunite the band in 2009, leading to the release of a long awaited sophomore effort. The lineup for “Back To The Start” included Keith Murrrell (vocals), Laurie Mansworth (lead guitars), Simon Dawson (drums), Dean Howard (guitars), David Boyce (bass), and Toby Sadler (keyboards). While some of the personnel have changed, “Back To The Start” makes it clear that Airrace hasn’t lost their knack for crunchy guitars, airy keyboards, and big melodic choruses.

Standout tracks among this particularly strong set of songs include the Journey sounding opener, “Keep On Going”, the ultra catchy “Two Of A Kind”, and the autobiographical title track. Kids who grew up rocking in the 80s won’t want to miss the time capsule in a song, “What More Do You Want From Me”.

While “Back To The Start” teleports you back to the 80s, the record also has a grittier edge to it. Airrace will appeal to fans of Journey, Autograph, and Diving For Pearls. Essential listening for old and new melodic fans.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 12


Check out “Call Me Anytime”

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