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On disc: Airrace

Back To The Start - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Back To The Start

Back To The Start
(Frontiers Records - 2011)

Airrace was founded in 1982 by former More guitarist Laurie Mansworth who wanted to go into a more melodic direction. He soon found people who shared his vision and with Jason Bonham on drums they got some attention. They recorded their debut album Shaft Of Light with producer Beau Hill and released it via Atco in 1984. Just the following year Airrace disbanded. For the 25th anniversary of the debut release they reunited to play Firefest in 2009, the feedback made them play some more shows, but when figuring out that they want to continue line-up changes were necessary. Now they are back with a new line-up and Back To The Start.

The first notes of Keep On Going take you back in time, back to the 80's. Heavy guitar riffs combined with prominent keyboard and a catchy vocal line. Singer Keith Murrell make me think of TNT... Two Of A Kind is a bit different, the 80's backings are still there, but the keyboard steps back and the vocals sound less Harnell-like. One of my favorites is Call Me Anytime, partly due the sentimental edge this song has, but also it's the guitar play of Mansworth who also produced the album. A short passage of the vocals reminds me slightly of some Michael Jackson tune... Just One Kiss has a slight pop appeal, but 80's pop. The following Wrong Way Out is heavier, kind of Whitesnake at times of 1987... Very catchy, would be a good choice for a video. The closer What More Do You Want From Me? is also among my favorites, based on a heavy riffs it's the vocals which do the trick. Not overly catchy, but enchanting.

Well, it's impossible to create something totally new these days and so there are passages which sound familiar, but it's fun to listen to Back To The Start. Singer Keith Murrell is ennobling the tunes. Fans of AOR should check out the new Airrace album!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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