Guests: Lawrence Falcomer - guitars * Piero Greco - bass * Graham Fillier, Michael Shotton - drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 The Second Wave * 02 Runaway * 03 Somebody's Got To Pay The Price * 04 After The Fall * 05 Lost Inside A Dream * 06 Sherry * 07 Faithful Heart * 08 Cinderella In Rags * 09 Lydia * 10 Can't Stop Falling In Love
Background This CD arrived some months back courtesy of the Z Records label. However, as I was in the middle of a house/city move, I wasn't able to apply time and effort to it. How remiss of me! Because as it turns out, Final Frontier's 'The Second Wave' is a great wee listen! I hadn't heard their debut (ironically titled 'First Wave') so wasn't quite sure what to expect. All trepidation aside, the uncertainty was unfounded. Moratti you'll remember from his own 90's band of the same name, while the other notable band member is Von Groove's Mladen Haze. Both bands came at you from a harder rockin' pedigree but with Final Frontier it's something quite different. 80's AOR is more the flavour, lining up alongside acts such as Honeymoon Suite and Tour De Force as a rough guide. We get more keyboards, a little less guitar crunch, and a dependence on vocal arrangements to fill out the sound. Other reviews have pointed out production issues, but for me (not being a producer or anything), I prefer to focus on the quality of the songs, and believe me, these guys have got the Q sorted out.
The Songs Upon first listen, most of you should quickly get into the groove with the compelling title track. Isn't that chorus awesome? Track #2 'Runaway' has a few Tour De Force moments, though not quite in that class. The first of the ballads appears with 'After The Fall', a moving arrangement, but the best is yet to come. I'm totally in love with tunes like 'Sherry', 'Faithful Heart' (which brings back reminders of that fantastic 2002 release by Spanish band 91 Suite) and 'Can't Stop Falling In Love'. Not far behind are the rollicking 'Lydia' and the semi-acoustic beauty 'Cinderella In Rags'. A fantastic set of tunes.
In Summary Final Frontier are probably a bit lighter and 'fluffier' than most people would expect from this lineup, considering the past history of the personnel involved. However, there are some damn good ideas on this quite enjoyable CD. Despite a few misgivings I had (which were unfounded), this is about as 'eighties-sounding' as you're gonna hear in the 21st Century. Top marks for arrangements, melodies and harmonies (in particular the vocal harmonies.. Rob Moratti take a bow!!). For those skirting around the edges and looking to shell out a few bucks on a CD, I'm giving you permission to do just that! This one is a gem waiting to be found.
I got all four FF CDs within a couple of weeks. If I had to choose a favorite, it would probably be this one (but it would be a tough choice). Excellent, excellent CD. My track order is slightly different - 'Runaway' and 'Lydia' are switched on my CD, and 'Delia' is the bonus track.