Review: The Defiants – The Defiants – Frontiers Music – Release: Out Now.
The Defiants is a new band put together by Paul Laine, Bruno Ravel and Rob Marcello. Three fabulous musicians who, as fans will immediately recognize, all have ties to the popular ‘80s/’90s/’00s hard rockers Danger Danger.
Best known for being the D2 vocalist on four studio albums over the course of 12 years, Paul Laine is now coming back to work with his former bandmates Bruno and Rob, who are the other two pillars of The Defiants. The guys reunited at the suggestion of Frontiers’ President, Serafino Perugino, who really wanted the guys to offer the fans some new music.
The Defiants are:
Paul Laine – vocals
Bruno Ravel – bass guitar, guitars, keyboards
Rob Marcello – lead guitars
Van Romaine – drums
The band shoots their dart straight into the bullseye with the intro. A music box and a sensitive guitar solo from Rob make me hungry for more! Speaking of an appetizer…
When ‘Love And Bullets’ kicks into gear, Paul’s warm vocals welcome us to a melodic rock party. The super catchy riffage of Rob, the keys from Bruno in the back; the sweet harmonies see to it that we have nothing but a good time!
The riffs on ‘When The Lights Go Down’ sound heavier, but this track swings. The keys during the chorus deliver a surprising effect. Marcello’s solo is shredelicious. The voice of Laine is pure gold and he hits the high notes and screams with a natural ease. Time for some pure AOR with ‘Waiting On A Heartbreak’. I devour this track over and over again. During the chorus you can hear some Spanish and/or South American rhythms in the background. This gets an addition with some acapella vocals and a flamenco guitar.
Some of the riffs show references with the Hysteria period of Def Leppard and ‘Runaway’ is a good example of this phenomenon. The piano also adds atmosphere here.
On the album cover the three amigos Paul, Bruno and Rob are presented as cowboys. The song that refers to it the most is certainly ‘Lil’ Miss Rock ‘n’ Roll’. A fun track without a doubt! There is even a saloon piano present. At the same time it reminds me of the famous singalong tunes from the early Danger Danger albums. The contagious riffs of ‘The Last Kiss’ immediately win you over and Rob delivers another furious and fast guitar solo as a bonus.
‘Save Me Tonight’ is a pop meets rock track, where Paul digs up his most sensual voice. Even the keys show references to pop tunes. The name of early Bon Jovi pops up in my mind during the smooth ‘Take Me Back’. The pure singalong chorus and the harmonies make that this track gets stuck in your head. But I don’t complain at all!
After the rocking ‘We All Fall Down’ it’s time to slow things down with the perfect ballad ‘That’s When I’ll Stop Loving You’. Although this track is seven minute long it’s gone in a jiffy. The easy rippling riffs with the sensitive vocals put me in a romantic mood. My beloved wife was also very positive that the song lasted that long, so she could hold on to me longer during that slow dance in the living room!
Album closer ‘Underneath The Stars’ has a more glam, sleaze touch, mainly because of its ‘punky’ guitar sound. A real smooth way to end an album!
Well the fans of early Danger Danger and the period with Paul will love these tracks. They made sure they dotted all the ‘i’s and crossed all the ‘t’s on this album. It’s a trip down memory lane and brings you back to the time when hair metal was huge. These cowboys made it perfectly clear that you can’t kill melodic rock. It’s here to stay! Because this kinda stuff always brings you in a good mood and makes you smile from ear to ear!
Score: 4,75 out of 5
1. Intro (Carillon’s Theme)
2. Love And Bullets
3. When The Lights Go Down
4. Waiting On A Heartbreak
6. Lil’ Miss Rock ‘n’ Roll
7. The Last Kiss
8. Save Me Tonight
9. Take Me Back
10. We All Fall Down
11. That’s When I’ll Stop Loving You
12. Underneath The Stars
Tekst: Rik Bauters