Fireworks

Sandra Dee - 'Visions Of Pain' http://ns2.rocktopiarecords.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/f5/2b/80/1462_sandradeevisionsofpain_1311360250.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 22, 2011    
 
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Textbook glam rock that retro, record-collecting junkies will nonetheless adore.

Bearing an edgy title and darkly atmospheric cover art to boot, 'Visions Of Pain' smacks immediately of sharp, ultra-modern metal. The accompanying press release paints a similarly promising picture, hailing this little-known outfit as an altogether more intense, intelligent update on classically hare-brained glam.

But the dated and predictable content within pays shamelessly obvious tribute to the likes of Guns 'n' Roses and Mötley Crüe, dealing in a catchy but painfully predictable formula of sleaze and vocal acrobatics. Salvaged from a long-forgotten selection of tracks first recorded in the early nineties, it's an unsurprisingly rough mix whose muddy and muscular sound undoubtedly belongs to some sweaty, smoke-wreathed rock club of bygone times. Nostalgia aside, these then-youthful glam rockers follow a well-beaten track peppered with a pitifully meagre selection of fresh influences. By far the most original feature of an album that's otherwise saturated with cheese and sleaze, 'Cold' witnesses a successful intermingling of glam and grunge.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Though Sandra Dee's love of Alice In Chains is often a tad too evident on occasion, the track strikes a nevertheless varied balance between fiery rock 'n' roll and deliciously dark atmospherics. Finally dropping the glam clichés, singer Lance Thomason offers up a graceful, highly expressive range with agile notes that soar seamlessly above an intricate tangle of grinding guitars. 'Heading Home' features a similarly grungy flirtation, offering up a varied vocal performance teamed with grinding yet refreshingly complex riffs. There's also no shortage of metal-driven beef throughout 'Inside Yourself,' which spans a choice selection of alternately blistering and funk-laden bass grooves.

Despite several nods to more challenging songwriting, 'Visions Of Pain' is the unmistakable product of a band who've yet to process their various influences into something truly original. Big on brawny hooks and sparse on originality, this is textbook glam rock that retro, record-collecting junkies will nonetheless adore.

Faye Coulman

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