By Jayson Burns
Label: Shadows of a Dream / Cargo Records
Promotion: Rock‘N‘Growl Promotion
Genre: AOR/Classic Rock
Format: CD Album/Digital
Release Date: Shadows of a Dream – July 31st / Cargo Records – August 25th
Moritz are an archetypical AOR/classic melodic rock band taking their influence from both sides of the Atlantic. Consisting of Peter Scallan (Chris Glen and the Outfit, Samson and If Only) on lead/backing vocals, Mike Nolan (definitely not Bucks Fizz!) on electric and acoustic guitars and vocals, Kenny Evans on electric and acoustic 6 and 12 string guitars and vocals, Ian Edwards (If Only) on bass, synthesizers, Hammond organ and vocals and John Tonks on drums they perfectly capture the eighties heyday of anthemic rock.
About Time Too (Intro)/One More Beautiful Day kicks things off as children’s nursery rhymes and a two minute intro lead us into an AOR standard to open the album. A labyrinth of musical passages provides six and a half minutes of solid eighties pop-rock and places the listener firmly in big-hair, cock-rock territory.
Moon and Back continues the transatlantic rock theme and is a more radio-friendly slab of Foreigner/early Bon Jovi promising to love some lucky lady the aforementioned 477,800 miles whereas Chance of a Lifetime is a keyboard driven anthem with hints of Starship.
The power ballad Dreamland showcases Scallan’s rock vocals and the competent musicianship of the band assembled around him, whilst the acoustic number Forever Is provides some much-needed variation and revisits Bon Jovi territory (think Blaze of Glory and Wanted Dead or Alive) with Scallan’s strongest vocal performance of the album.
If Alice Cooper and Axl Rose had a love-child, next track Take It On The Chin would be played at the christening (provided Gene Simmons was the godfather). This is a harder rocking number with backing vocals from the Crazy, Crazy Nights textbook in a stoicism self-help manual.
If Iron Maiden had mastered power-ballads they would have produced something approximating to next track Run whereas pop-rocker Love Long Gone’s keyboard overdose leads the listener into more standard eighties fare.
Own Little World is a beautiful piano-lead ballad which brings more variety to the album and has a hint of the power of Meatloaf’s subtler moments. You Don’t Know What Love Is is the kind of slow, soulful number that could have emerged if Wilson Pickett ever had the opportunity to stand in for Lou Gramm, and another prog-rock intro segues into a solid chugger as There’s Something About (Intro)/Unwanted Man brings the album to a finale.
If you like your perm back-combed, your skinny jeans tucked into your cowboy boots and your rock with more melody than venom then this offering from Moritz could be just the nostalgia-fest you’re looking for.