NEON CROSS - TORN (1995, Rugged Records)
Reviewed by David Cranson
Neon Cross first turned up on the 1987 (patchy) showcase album 'California Metal' then had their first, eponymous, album released in 1988. Things weren't helped by the somewhat 'flat' vocals of David Raymond Reeves. Everyone, especially on this side of the pond, thought that was it. Silence ensued for the next six years. So that's the history. Then, late last year an ad in Heavens Metal announced a forthcoming new album. It has now arrived; and boy, is it a REALLY pleasant surprise. They may have a release schedule similar to that of Boston or Def Leppard, but it has been well worth the wait. The line up has changed with two new guys joining, Don Webster and the aforementioned Mr Reeves. Troy Woody and David Starkey have helped give the sound a complete overhaul and David's vocals are a revelation. Like every other band they seem to have a few influences and it would help the uninitiated to name a few. I get The Brave, Gethsemane Rose and Bride coming through and also Megadeth and Extreme (circa 'Punchline'). There is depth and brutality; honesty and back to basics. It has the feel of an album recorded without too much technological intrusions hence holding on to all the power so much needed in this type of music; a 'live' feel album is becoming rare these days. Treasure it. Lyrically they don't stick to the 'Have-to-mention-Jesus-in-every-track- syndrome. Yet there is no doubt the standpoint the band are taking. I normally like to quote a few lyrics to give a flavour, but titles like "Bitterness", "Videosmut", "Seasons Of Change" and "Prussian Blue" (look it up) may whet the appetite. One more thing, if "81" is autobiographical then we should all give thanks to God for his saving grace. For me this is 1995's album of the year, thus far.
No One's Home
Seasons Of Change
11 songs TT: 40:25 6-page insert w/lyrics.