WHEELS OF FIRE – UP FOR ANYTHING – AVENUE OF ALLIES – OUT NOW

WHEELS OF FIRE – UP FOR ANYTHING – AVENUE OF ALLIES – OUT NOW

Two and a half years after their debut album “Hollywood Rocks” Wheels OF Fire return with their second record “Up For Anything”. Front man Davide “Dave Rox” Barbieri and guitar player Stefano Zeni were already the core of the recording line-up of “Hollywood Rock”, since then the duo was joined by Marcello Suzzani on bass, Andrea Vergori on keyboards & piano and Fabrizio Uccellini on drums. Dave and Stefano are also the main songwriters for all the tracks of the album but get the help of some musical friend in the writing process.

Wheels Of Fire is:
Davide “Dave Rox” Barbieri – lead & backing vocals
Stefano Zeni – lead, rhythm & acoustic guitars
Marcello Suzanni – bass
Andrea Vergori – keyboards & piano
Fabrizio Uccellini – drums

Special guest musicians
James Christian – lead vocal duet and backing vocals on 2
Robin Beck – backing vocals on 2
Rob Marcello – guitar solo on 11
Michele Luppi – backing vocals on 6, 10 and 11
Roberto Zari – backing vocals on 1, 3, 4 and 8
Andrea “Mitzi” Dal Santo – backing vocals on 1, 3, 4 and 7
Claudio Allifranchini – saxophone on 12
Giovanni Distefano – trombone on 12

 

UP FOR ANYTHING
After 30 seconds of simple keys the album kicks off in the good old Bon Jovi style with “Follow Your Heart”. The voice of Barbieri even knows some similarities with the voice of uncle Jon! Stefano Zeni delivers splendid guitar work that sounds very melodic. When they take the vocoder (or talkbox) from the cellar during “Don’t Walk Away”, the comparison with Bon Jovi is complete (the “Slippery When Wet” era). The vocals on this track are mainly from the superb James Christian (House of Lords). His lovely wife Robin Beck does the backing vocals. “Turning On The Radio” is a commercial tune with an uncomplicated structure. But “Pain” immediately  makes you forget this little slip. This track holds some modern guitar sounds. The chorus is catchy as hell. “Web Of Lies” is the first pause on this album. But this track  matures into a magnificent ballad. Singer Davide and guitar player Stefano are both responsible for writing down the tracks. Stefano has undoubtedly taking the lead on “Lay Your Body Down”. This track is packed with flashy hooks and licks. “Respect” combines flawless heavy riffs with merry piano and keys. “Tell Me” opens with a blues inspired solo. During this tear-jerker the bluesy touch keeps showing his head. Jack-of-all-trades Allessandro Del Vecchio wrote the lyrics for this ballad. The spirit  of Bon Jovi pops up during “Nothing To Lose”. Stefano lets his guitar squeak here. Stefano is master of the game again on the fierce rocking “No Mercy”. The quick as lightning keys from Andrea Vergori makes a fine addition to the sound. Danger Danger axe man Rob Marcello delivers fireworks with his guitar solo. “Yesterday’s Gone” blends theEuropesound with a true horn section. Del Vecchio gives a helping hand with this composition. The piano ballad “Everytime” closes this fine varied album with beauty.

Conclusion:
Barbieri and Zeni have come up with an album packed with superb melodic rock. The good old 80’s sound is recognizable but the band has also blend in some modern twists. With the help of some friends they make it stand out from the more ordinary releases. Every fan of early Bon Jovi will love this album and simply has to buy this gem! I’ll give it another spin.

Score: 4 out of 5

Tracklist:

  1. Follow Your Heart                4:19
  2. Don’t Walk Away                 4:36
  3. Turning Up The Radio           3:44
  4. Pain                                        5:01
  5. Web Of Lies                          5:05
  6. Lay Your Body Down          4:17
  7. Respect                                  3:33
  8. Come Back Home                 3:36
  9. Tell Me                                   4:08
  10. Nothing To Lose                    4:05
  11. No Mercy                               3:45
  12. Yesterday’s Gone                  3:29
  13. Everytime                              4:21

Links:
www.wheels-of-fire.com
www.avenue-of-allies.com

Tekst: Rik Bauters

 

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