So, where do we pick this one up from? The San Francisco band Babylon A.D. formed in 1987 and are most remembered for ‘Bang Goes The Bells’ and the Robocop 2 song – ‘The Kid Goes Wild’. Well let’s just dive in and see what the new release Revelation Highway has to offer.
‘Crash & Burn’ kicks off with what I remember as being Babylon A.D. sound; it’s melodic and up-tempo with some in your face riffs. I like this! The band’s own EPK states “energetic classic hard rock” and I can’t disagree with that. It’s classic with the sound of the late 80s with a bit of a current twist helped by the superior recording methods available today.
‘Fool on Fire’ continues with a mellow acoustic intro before the band kick in with the song. A nice mid tempo affair with some atmospheric lead playing and then followed by ‘One Million Miles’, continuing with the acoustic backed rock chops before a pretty catchy chorus keeps you wanting more.
‘Tears’ starts off, thinking it’s going to be the power ballad for the album, very late 80s this one, and then you get the main riff for the song; punchy melodic guitar with a driving beat underlying a great song that could have easily been taken from the band’s debut album. The chorus has my foot tapping and my torso swinging along with a smile on my face. 80s heavy rock in all its glory!
‘She Likes To Give It’ has a bit of a cool swagger to it and riffs are a plenty here. ‘Rags To Riches’ a more up-tempo number with a catchy chorus and cracking solo. ‘Last Time For Love’ sounds and starts like the obligatory power ballad, alas no. It’s the closest you will get on this record, certainly a more restrained rocker with a classy but not overpowering guitar part running through the chorus intro before it settles into a groove laden verse arrangement, and what is the brief rest point in the album if there is actually one.
The next course come in a pretty exquisite song ‘I’m No Good For You’, bubbling under with a bass and drums combination that just cries out for some moody guitars, and yes you get it; a straight ahead rocker that is the stand out song on this “comeback” recording for me.
So, we are getting to the tail end of Revelation Highways and the foot on the Babylon A.D. gas pedal isn’t budging. ‘Saturday Night’ keeps us going with another classic hard rock tune and the band promise to keep us rocking til the morning light. A promise that this album keeps. So we get to the closer. No ballad just another straight up rocker, nice and up-tempo for ‘Don’t Tell Me Tonight’ as it builds through the verse and then into a hooky chorus. It’s more of what I have been listening to catchy, melodic, well performed hard rock.
Babylon A.D. are proud to be one of the few hard rock bands from the late 80s/early 90s that are still operating with all of their original members; Derek Davis - vocalist/songwriter; guitarists and songwriters John Mathews and Ron Freschi, drummer Jamey Pacheco and bassist Robb Reid; which is a rarity among bands that have endure the end of the 80s through grunge and out the other side, and is refreshing to see.
This record sounds like the boys are having fun and, with the signing to Frontiers Records hopefully this transforms into a resurgence across the globe and many gigs to follow.
Crash And Burn
Fool On Fire
One Million Miles
She Likes To Give It
Rags To Riches
Last Time For Love
I’m No Good For You
Don’t Tell Me Tonight