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Articles Home » 2002 Articles » Austin, Jeff (Project) - 2002 Go Big Or Stay Home
Austin, Jeff (Project) - 2002 Go Big Or Stay Home

Jeff Austin - drums, keyboards, backing vocals
Mark Roebuck - vocals
Rex Alan - bass, vocals
Mark Severns - guitars, keyboards, vocals

Having been active around the Toronto and Florida scenes for quite a while, Jeff Austin has been getting this album together in stages for quite some time now. With guidance and studio assistance forthcoming from none other than John Albani (Wrabit/ Lee Aaron), chances were always pretty good for a cracking 80's AOR album.

The Songs
Disc opener 'Lisa' immediately sets the tone in a swirl of Journey /Le Roux styled melodic motifs, including a wall of vocals to make many competitors envious. There are enough hooks to induce blood loss and pulsing keys, and when overlaid with a winning chorus I'm pretty much in 1985 heaven. 'Hideaway' announces it's presence with a flurry of spirited riffage, developing into a working man's anthem not unlike Chalfant era 707, and a keyboard passage hauntingly similar to The Who's classic 'Won't Get Fooled Again'. 'Too Late For Love' keeps the untempo trend going, built upon a foundation of 'Frontiers' era Journey, with a cascading vocal attack too. 'Forever' signals a shift into power ballad territory, although delivered with class and conviction, it could easily have found a home on The Storm's timeless 'Eye Of The Storm' record. Next up is a storming version of the Van Zant classic 'I'm A Fighter', resplendent as per the original version, with fierce riffing, booming bass, and a soaring vocal style carried with ease by Mark Roebuck. 'Too Many Midnights' comes to life in a frenzy of eighties keyboards, moving from a brooding verse into a chorus full of Shooting Star tendencies.. abundant in equal measures of momentum and melody. 'Caught Up In Ecstacy' is a powerful foray remarkably similar to Duke Jupiter circa The Line Of Your Fire. Meanwhile 'Find A Way' lands us squarely in White Sister territory, inescapable pomp keys and luscious harmonies on top of an urgent backbeat. Closing off is the second cover, this time a delicious version of the monumental 'So You Ran' from Orion The Hunter, remaining faithful to the original and putting Mark Roebuck's remarkable voice through it's higher range, easily keeping up with Fran Cosmo's skyward tendencies by comparison.

In Summary
Those who are sick of alternative/modern rock and are yearning for a band or album that's unafraid of wallowing in the glorious mid 80's AOR heritage should lap this one up. Forthcoming in the next day or so is our feature interview with Jeff, detailing how the saga of this great album unravelled.

Track Listing:
01 Lisa
02 Hideaway
03 Too Late For Love
04 Forever
05 I'm A Fighter
06 Too Many Midnights
07 Caught Up In Ecstacy
08 Find A Way
09 So You Ran

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#1 | trillion1999 on October 28 2011 17:15:46
I remember liking what I heard from this back in the day.Groundbreaking is overrated IMHO.Give me most of what sounds dated anytime.Especially the mid-1980s and back even further so to speak.
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