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Nitrate - 'Open Wide' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     September 19, 2019    
 
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You want yet more high-quality AOR? Open wide...

The Nitrate project is the brainchild of bassist/song-writer Nick Hogg, who is once again joined by guitarist/song-writer/producer Rob Wylde (Midnite City) and drummer Pete Newdeck (bloody loads of bands – has this man been cloned?) for this second outing after their very impressive debut last year.

However, there has been a couple of changes since 'Real World' and they're quite significant ones given a big part of the attraction for an album is the singer and lead guitarist. In this case, there's nothing to worry about, as Nitrate have roped in a couple of first-class talents in the shape of vocalist Philip Lindstrand (Find Me) and guitarist Marcus Thurston (Vega). No offence to their previous vocalist Joss Mennen, but Lindstrand fits the style of music even better than his predecessor with a smoother delivery that is soaked in AOR goodness. Thurston doesn't replace anyone as such, but he is a welcome addition as this man is simply a fantastic player who leaves his stamp on the record with his usual class.

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Musically, 'Open Wide' isn't a progression from the debut but that was to be expected. That said, I prefer it because the tracks are slightly better and the newbies add another level to that. The eleven tracks are all smooth, refined AOR with no aggression and plenty of catchy moments. Opener 'You Want It You Got It' sets the listener up for the rest of the release perfectly with clear keyboards and guitar complementing each other whilst Lindstrand takes you through a simple, catchy chorus. It's all traditional AOR song structure, but when it's done this well it works just fine as it is.

Needless to say, fans of the first album should check this out, and they shouldn't be worried about the change of singer. The essential Nitrate-ness of the product is still well and truly there, and it's the songs that really count once again. This is definitely one for fans of Shadowhunter, Midnite City and all that kind of jazz. You want yet more high-quality AOR? Open wide...

Alan Holloway

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