It's been 13 years since Burning Rain released their last album, mainly due to Doug Aldrich becoming part of Whitesnake. This time he and Keith St. John hooked up with bassist Sean McNabb and drummer Matt Starr.
The opener is Sweet Little Baby Thing, a powerful rocker with heavy riffs and great vocals. At The Cure they slow down a little, but add a lot of blues and so you get a bluesy rocker with great lead parts. I really like their bluesy rockers, so this one is among my favorites on this album. After another rocker they slow down for Heaven Gets Me By, a real gem! At Our Time Is Gonna Come it takes too long til the songs rocks, but well... Riff-based rockers like Ride The Monkey are pure fun, even if it offers slower passages. Out In The Cold Again combines the two sides of Burning Rain and personally I would like to hear more songs like that one. Towards the end you get another ballad. When Can I Believe In Love is piano-based but offers guitars too. Then you get a cover version of Kashmir and an acoustic version of Heaven Gets Me By, the later one just more stripped down, but I think an acoustic version of e.g. Sweet Little Baby Thing or Ride The Monkey would have been more interesting...
Some songs are a bit lengthy, but it might be just me... I like the fact that they show they soft side as much as their heavy one. You'll enjoy this one!
A year after the debut of Burning Rain they presented their second album, Pleasure To Burn. Keith St. John and Doug Aldrich kick off with the heavy rocker Fireball which has Deep Purple-sque element and reminds me of Burn... While some songs have more than one dash of Whitesnake it's Cherie Don't Break My Heart which could have been taken off a Whitesnake album. Perhaps this tune caught David Coverdale's attention and made him hire Aldrich... There are a few heavy, riff-based rockers which give their second album a heavy edge. Their Judgment Day offers slow balladesque passages and rock parts, a very cool tune with a touch of Led Zepplin. After Devil Money, the closer of the original release, they present 2 bonus tracks - a demo version and an acoustic version of Cherie Don't Break My Heart. The demo track is called Live For That Rush and at this one Aldrich's love for Mr. Big and Paul Gilbert shows through. I think that's why it didn't end up on the album, coz they wanted to show their own style. But it's fun and so I won't complain.
Personally I like the debut a bit better, but that's mainly a matter of taste. If you like this kind of US hard rock, then you should get both re-releases!
Some might know Doug Aldrich's band Burning Rain, but for many this will be the first time to encounter Burning Rain. The debut of Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich and his mates was released in 1999 and is long out of print. Now as he revived the band and has a new album ready to unleash and Frontiers Records decided to re-release the first two albums.
The opener Smooth Locomotion is an up-tempo rocker with a strong hook line. At Superstar Train they show their bluesy edge, but it's still a powerful tune which singer Keith St. John ennobles. Jungle Queen reminds me a bit of early Whitesnake, but also of Great White and is spiced up with a dash of sleaze. Songs like Fool No More and would have been big in the late 80's. Can't Cure The Fire reminds me a bit of a fast Mr. Big track, it's mainly Aldrich's guitar play... But it's fun anyway. The ballad Can't Turn Your Back On Love could have become a hit like More Than Words, but the album was released too late to get enough attention, actually the acoustic version sounds even more like the Mr. Big hit... After the rocker Seasons Of Autumn which is the closer on the original release you'll get acoustic versions of 2 songs as a bonus. First you get the opener which works well, but I miss a bit the drive of the MSG unplugged stuff....
Fans of classy late 80's hard rock shouldn't hesitate to get a copy now!