Fireworks

Heaven's Edge - 'Heaven's Edge' http://ns2.rocktopiarecords.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/8d/dd/ff/895_heavensedgeheavensedge_1293141696.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 23, 2010    
 
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Rock Candy have made a very, very strong album sound a whole lot better.

Some albums have just been screaming out for a remaster and the debut album from Philadelphia’s Heaven’s Edge is one of them. Formed in the late 80s by members of the state’s top club bands like Whitefoxx, Public Enemy and Network (of ‘Crashin’ Hollywood’ fame), the quintet were an immediate hit in the clubs and had offers from both Columbia and Epic, perhaps wrongly choosing the former because of the success they’d had with local heroes Britny Fox. The sleeve notes, courtesy of the knowledgeable Dave Reynolds, tell the familiar story of a band with bags of talent being shafted by the revolving door policy of record companies towards their employees, and leaving the band with nobody to bat in their corner, but in Heaven’s Edge’s case, at least that wasn’t until after they’d recorded this killer debut album with producer Neil Kernon.

Fronted by singer Mark Evans and featuring guitarists Reggie Wu and Steven Parry, bassist G.G.Guidotti and drummer David Rath, Heaven’s Edge really did have all the bases covered, with diamond hard riffs, big choruses and kick ass rhythms on hard rockers like ‘Skin To Skin’, ‘Play Dirty’, ‘Up Against The Wall’ and ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’. Unlike a lot of the bands that were getting signed at the time they also had other weapons in their arsenal besides the mid-paced gritty rock tracks, and could really rip it up when they wanted to, the breakneck speed of ‘Can’t Catch Me’ and the original album closer ‘Don’t Stop, Don’t Go’ being cases in point.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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However, what should have set them on the road to stardom were the more AOR-tinged gems ‘Find Another Way, ‘Come Play The Game’ and ‘Bad Reputation’, whilst the power ballad ‘Hold On To Tonight’ should have lit up the US charts the same way bands like Warrant and Winger did. It was a strange move to have a live track on a studio album but ‘Is That All You Want’ is again a different kind of song to the rest and proves their versatility. Despite their relative lack of success this album still stands up today as one of the strongest efforts of the era. The remastering certainly brings out the sharpness and atmosphere of Kernon’s original production, each instrument and the excellent vocal harmonies (which included Terry Brock and Larry Baud amongst the band members) shine through, giving the disc a satisfyingly meaty sound that has dated far less than many a more successful release of the time.

There are three bonus tracks that are in the same style but aren’t really compatible sound-wise as they’re obviously demos. The ballad ‘Just Another Fire’ will be familiar to anyone who picked up their demo album ‘Some Other Place, Some Other Time’, but it’s actually a different recording. Of the other two (which are unfortunately in the wrong order on the cover) ‘U Got It’ is by far the best and a welcome addition to the catalogue, whilst ‘Superstition’ is good too but not really in the same class as the rest of this disc.

I sometimes question why labels seem to re-release albums that have already been available on disc, but in the case of ‘Heaven’s Edge’ Rock Candy have made a very, very strong album sound a whole lot better.

Phil Ashcroft

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