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First Shot - 2003 Midnight Madness

ARTIST: First Shot
ALBUM: Midnight Madness
LABEL: Escape Music
YEAR: 2003


LINEUP: Marc LaFrance - vocals, percussion * Dave Pickell - keyboards * Peter Clarke - bass, vocals * Doug Edwards - guitar, keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Dealer Of Love * 02 Skin Deep * 03 Somewhere In Time * 04 All Through The Night * 05 I Can't Get Over You * 06 Into The Night * 07 Don't Take Me For A Fool * 08 Girl Like You * 09 Midnight Madness * 10 It Must Be Magic * 11 The More Things Chang

I must say, after hearing 2001's disappointing 'From The Hip' album (well I thought it was), this new one from this bunch of Vancouver session legends called First Shot is a bit of a wake-call/kick start.. call it what you will. It seems that they've found their groove, and the overall record (yeah I still call them records!) has a much more consistent feel to it. You're gonna get no qualm about the quality, I mean the question to consider is: how many other artists have this collective bunch played with? I would guess and say 'absolutely heaps', and the results are obvious. Twenty years ago we had Night Ranger releasing an album called 'Midnight Madness'. Coincidental or not, the title suggests these guys want to revisit the glory days of radio rock, and to a certain extent they do. It's not diffcult to pick the eyes out of their sound, an amalgam of many Vancouver based outfits from yesteryear rear their head: Prototype, Prism and Straight Lines/Body Electric are a couple that stand out, and is it turns out, most of the First Shot band members have had dealings with those bands in any case.

The Songs
The songs are varied, which helps embellish the interest factor. The opener 'Dealer Of Love' is a fantastic 'happy-go-lucky' tune, in the same vein as Doug And The Slugs for instance. 'Skin Deep' has the same sort of sound as heard on the latest Body Electric release, while the ballad 'Somewhere In Time' is probably best described as a working mans version of I-Ten. Not bad, but if put into the hands of Steinberg and Kelly, well.... 'All Through The Night' is very keyboard dominated, some rough 'n' tough guitar lines in there too. 'I Can't Get Over You' is straight out of the 80's radio rock format, commercial and easy on the ear while on the other hand, 'Into The Night' has that same brooding feel last heard on the classic Preview album. Now, we're not in the same league here obviously, but the style and intent is there. 'Don't Take Me For A Fool' features some galloping riffs on the chorus which I'm sure will invoke some cries of joy from those 80's AORsters out there. My fave track is the lovely velvet smooth 'Girl Like You'. Very nice indeed. 'It Must Be Magic' recently heard on Body Electric's 'Walking Through Walls' CD gets a revamp here, probably not as good, with 'The More Things Change' finishes things off rather nicely. Look out for the bonus track (I think it's called 'Oh Why') toward the end.

In Summary
I'm quite impressed to be honest. This album gets released later next month (Nov 2003) and is definitely worth having a listen to. We'll get an MP3 medley up shortly so you can take a listen. For those who were put off by last years 'From The Hip' album, a pleasant surprise awaits you. 'Midnight Madness' without doubt, is a far superior release.

Related Articles
First Shot - 2001 From The Hip
First Shot - 2003 Midnight Madness

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#1 | Jez on June 16 2008 02:24:04
As with 'From The Hip', another Vaults release. Very much the same comments as for that one, although i will add that i prefer a few more of the tracks on this one. Definately a case of cherry picking the best tracks from both and putting them on one compilation.

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