Brian from Midlands Rocks has written some nice words about the Cranston album. You can read the full review here. Some quotes:
- What they’ve done here, for the most part at least, is create an AOR album in a manner that will resound with genre aficionados.
- Producer, Sabu adorns most tracks – most notably, ‘See You On The Other Side’ and ‘Queen Of Pain’ with a cavalcade of punchy, dramatic keyboards and high-octane riffs
- The classy ‘Double Trouble’ (which rises to a vertiginous chorus) and ‘You Oughta Know’, a major-key stomp, stand out due to their clever use of call&response, using the backing vocal as lead, an old Mutt Lange trick.
- It all might be rooted in nostalgia, an homage to a time when the world’s charts and radios were dominated by bands such as Journey, Foreigner, REO Speedwagon and so forth, but most of the time anyway, it works.
Thank you Brian!
Cranston ‘Cranston’ (Rock Company)
Cranston from Rhode Island, USA is a band/project formed around musicians whom have already made a household name in the melodic rockworld. The band consists of none other than multi-instrumentalists/vocalists Phil Vincent and Paul Sabu as well as drummer B.F. D’Ercole. Together they recorded an album that musically is clearly sounding like a cross between Phil and Paul’s solo-records, so no surprises at all here. It’s sounding a little better than the last couple of records both gentlemen released, but still the 10 included songs are very cliché tingled melodic hardrocksongs that will definitely please the fans of Sabu and Vincent, although don’t expect anything new here I’m afraid. Not saying it is bad, because it’s all done quite well, but most of the material reminds me of a slightly weaker version of their past work when they started both in the music business and that sounded very sensational (Kidd Glove and Phil Vincent’s first couple of records). So if you’re not familiar with those albums, better start from scratch and leave this alone, but in case you’re a dedicated fan of Sabu and Vincent, then make sure to check this out at: https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/cranston22
(Points: 7.8 out of 10)
German websine Crossfire have written reviews of several of our recent releases. Some quotes on Tragik:
- Although on the market since 2015, Rock Company only found us recently. Thankfully, because else a very honorable piece of music would not have been on our radar
- Strong parallels to Boston („Rescue Me – Rise To The Sun”), Journey („You Are The One“) and Foreigner („Where Would I Be“) can be heard
- This music is as perfect as the artwork for me. I hope bands like this come to perform in Germany soon, instead of only Nottingham or Milan.
Read more to find out about the 8.5 out of 10 points here.
...But now, things have changed. Tragik’s sixth album bursts with a different kind of energy. Vincent has laboured for many years in the shadow of the great AOR originals, but that long apprenticeship is now yielding the kind of results that stand on their own two feet. The evidence is a batch of finely crafted songs, brimming with memorable melodies. Vincent turns it all – like the tautly stretched ‘Where Would I Be’ (a song that suddenly launches into an MOR chorus) and the appealingly plaintive ‘Someone’s Gonna Hurt You’ – into performance art, passionate, powerful. And on ‘You Are The One’ and ‘When The Darkness Falls’, he clearly knows how to do intimate too.
It’s no surprise that the music is derivative still – show me something that isn’t – so the real trick is in merging the past with the present. Vincent gets huge help from lead guitar guests Vince O’Regan and Peter Cox. To say their solos are perfectly pitched and beautifully measured suggests cold precision. That would be wrong. Both temper their axework in the heat of Vincent’s emotive, compelling delivery, adding a calculated bite and a metrical sting to his sweetly sturdy melodies, carrying their share of the load, creating light and shade. It would be difficult to overestimate their contribution.
‘Feed My Soul’ shifts the tone: It’s a long, deep rock’n’roll exhale from Vincent as he draws on AOR and grown up powerpop to stamp his songwriting authority on the music. ‘Smokin Gun’ and ‘Rescue Me – Rise To The Sun’ continue what at times seems to be a journey of exploration, here examining progrock to determine what it can add to the songs’ swirling melodic rock cadences...
Read it in full here to find out why it got a 8/10!
Also Gabor from Strutter is impressed:
Tragik 'Come and get it' (Rock Company)
The history of me personally reviewing Phil Vincent records go back 20 years in time to be exact, because already in 1996 I started reviewing his music. Now many solo discs later, several side-projects, his focus nowadays is Tragik, a band he formed with guitarist Damian D'Ercole, with the help of a few session musicians on a couple of songs. However, still Phil prefers to do everything on his own, which sometimes makes it sound a bit the same after a while. Nevertheless, he does a great job and opener Where would I be of the 6th Tragik album come and get it, released on Dutch label Rock Company, this is one of his strongest melodic rocksongs in ages. The following 10 tracks are a surprise, because this new album is Phil's best effort since his late 90s records. Highlights besides the excellent opener are the semi ballad You are the one, Someone's gonna hurt you tonight and the hooky uptempo 80s AOR tune When the darkness falls. As usual, Phil's love for women is shown on the cd artwork, so you have something nice to look at! Check it out for yourself if Dokken meets Stryper is your kinda melodic hardrock, more at: www.philvincentbands.com
Points: 8.1 / 10