LINEUP: Lou DiBello - guitars, backing vocals * Kelly Hazel - lead vocals * Gary Strater - bass, backing vocals * Tom Garza - drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Little Red Car * 02 Who Will You Be * 03 Deep In The Night * 04 The Only One I Need * 05 Every Time * 06 Fantasy World * 07 Little Red Car (Live) * 08 Who Will You Be (Live) * 09 Black Light
Background Time flies and it seems like just yesterday when interest in a potential Starcastle reunion was starting to pick up steam. With the release of the 2001 rarities disc 'Chronos 1', bassist Gary Strater and I were in contact by email or phone on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. One day he called and said 'I have something I want you to hear and see what you can do with it'. A few days later a package showed up in my box with a CDR containing the song 'Who Will You Be' which Gary described as having a George Harrison/Jellyfish vibe. So it did but as good as it was with everything else going on at the time there was little I could do with the tune short of posting a sound clip on the Starcastle web site which Gary was reluctant to do as the piece was from ESP; a band he had been a part of since 1996. ESP was originally formed in Champaign-Urbana by guitarist Lou DiBello and quickly developed into something more than just a run-of-the-mill cover band. A 5 track CDR was released by the band but following Gary's death in 2004 Lou re-packaged that disc as 'Eclipse' with a brace of extra studio tracks and live cuts.
The Songs With ESP's feet in both Cheap Trick-ish power pop and rafter-shaking hard rock; 'Eclipse' is a solid collection. Kicking off with the infectious and radio friendly 'Little Red Car', Kelly Hazel sings like a young, more straightforward Robin Zander although 'Who Will You Be' is the strongest of the set by just a smidgen and Strater's intuition was right on this one. The song had oodles of potential with its Beatlesesque vibrations and clever 'I Am The Walrus' fade-out while 'No Heavy Petting' era UFO fans will dig 'Deep In The Night' packed with hotshot guitar soloing from DiBello. Smartly book-ended with muscular live versions of 'Little Red Car' and 'Who Will You Be' as well as the bluesy and somewhat out of character 'Black Light', those expecting anything close to Starcastle pomp or Strater's now legendary bass runs will be sorely disappointed but as a fun set of Illinois power pop; 'Eclipse' hits the spot.
In Summary The full colour booklet is a tribute to Gary, featuring a photo collage and sweet memories of the much-missed bassist from the band members.
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