CD review ‘Sleaze Roxx’

The brainchild of Belgian songwriter Kurt Vereecke, and a full decade after their last album Ahead of TimeFrozen Rain finally return with their third record, seemingly reinvigorated with a new vocalist and guitarist, and ready to climb the AOR charts and fill guest slots at any number of Hard Rock Hell styled festivals.

The title track is a dreamy, almost yearning opener with absolutely flawless harmonies that draws you in completely and never outstays its nearly six minute length. “Move On “ is a more standard soft rocker that had a certain Kansas feel for me, whilst “Fire” is infectious with a great chorus and the first of many fine Jens Ambrosch guitar solos. We are on the right track with the driving “How Could I Know” and the Survivor like “Let Me Love You” which is just begging to be a single. “What’s It Gonna Be” has another radio friendly chorus. “Ready For Tonight” wouldn’t be out of place on any mid-80’s Journey album which in this genre is probably the highest compliment that could be paid to it. Similarly, “That’s Why I’m Loving You” has yet more perfect harmonies and fine Ambrosch playing before the appropriately titled “The Waiting’s Over” is an impassioned, mid-tempo rocker which closes proceedings in fine melodic style.

This is crisply produced and the band really can’t be faulted, with Jurgen Vitrier and founder Kurt Vereecke both on keys and bass more than ably supported by Hans Vereecke’s stylish drums, and who generously makes way for guest skin work by April Wine’s Roy Nicholl on a couple of tracks. Josefine Wassler and Joke Vereecke provide superb backing vocals throughout, and as already mentioned, Jens Ambrosch on guitar is a very fine player indeed. New singer Lars Edvall is perfectly suited to this material and has a fine range that is often simply stunning.One Mile From Heartsville is chock full of radio ready, chorus led, quality AOR songs that should easily satisfy those who pine for the inoffensive, arena filled days of Reo SpeedwagonHardline and of course Journey – whose  influence is very evident. One Mile From Heartsville is a triumphant return for the band and a fine current example of the AOR genre.

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