Revolution Saints – Revolution Saints (2015)

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If the Revolution Saints’ sound is familiar, that’s with good reason: Axeman Doug Alrich made his mark as a past member of Whitesnake. Bassist Jack Blade has been around in a bunch of multiplatinum settings. Best known as co-lead vocalist in Night Ranger, Blade was also founding member in Damn Yankees and did a series of duet albums with Styx member Tommy Shaw. Drummer Deen Castronovo isn’t as well known, but he’s made his mark as drummer in both Journey and Bad English, as well on various projects with Journey leader Neal Schon.

In keeping, it’s no surprise Revolution Saints takes elements from every one those bands. What may be surprising is that this well-worn formula sounds as fresh and vibrant as it does.

Part of the reason the Revolution Saints’ forthcoming self-titled album works is Castronovo. Sure, he’s a solid rock drummer, standing of the shoulders of great Journey drummers like Steve Smith, Ansley Dunbar and Prairie Prince. Anyone who has seen a Journey show over the last decade can also attest to the fact that Deen Castronovo is a fine singer in the Steve Perry/Sam Cooke mode. Close your eyes and you could easily mistake this for a hard-rocking Journey album from decades ago.

That’s only compounded by the presence of Neal Schon, as well as Journey vocalist Arnel Pineda, who make noteworthy appearances on “Way Of The Sun” and “You’re Not Alone,” respectively. However, they are icing on an already tasty cake. The trio of Alrich, Blades and Castronovo soar on “Dream On,” a track that gives hints of Santana but quickly moves into hard rocking, straight-ahead territory with Castronovo’s soaring vocals supported by the uplifting, Damn Yankees-like chorus. Alrich’s solo smokes yet is tastefully restrained.

The Revolution Saints show contrast with the piano-driven ballad “Don’t Walk Away,” sounding both effective and appropriate for this setting. “Here Forever” is an even more successful application of the power-ballad theme. The song gets going quickly with Castronovo’s forceful vocals, aptly supported by the stiletto-sharp rhythm guitar parts and multiphasing guitar interplay. “Turn Back Time,” soulfully sung with an urgent driving beat, may well best represent the Revolution Saints. Who said you can’t have hard, melodic rock with hooks anymore?

Revolution Saints is due February 24, 2015 via Frontiers.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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