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Articles Home » 1990 Articles » Eight Seconds - 1990 Big Houses
 
Eight Seconds - 1990 Big Houses



ARTIST: Eight Seconds
ALBUM: Big Houses
LABEL: Atco
SERIAL: CD 91417
YEAR: 1990

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Andres Del Castillo - vocals, guitars * March Cesare - bass * Frank Levin - keyboards * Scott Milks - drums * Bill Beaudoin - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Here Stood Troy * 02 No Picasso * 03 Tell Diane * 04 Chopin's Heart * 05 We Set Him Free * 06 Thorn In My Side * 07 Beyond The Shock * 08 Happy Endings * 09 Moving Day * 10 Picture


Background
As much as I was smitten by their 'Almacantar' opus four years earlier, it's a bit of a surprise that Eight Seconds can re-produce, or even better that effort with this one 'Big Houses'. A new label, the departure of guitarist of Marc Parent (replaced this time by studio guest Bill Beaudoin), a new producer in Paul Northfield and some incredible new songs make this one of the better albums of 1990, and let me tell you 1990 was a pretty good year. Though I have to say, Eight Seconds in true obscurity, got very little press and I can recall next to nothing being said about them at the time, suffice to say a small review in Metal Forces. This time around, they've dropped the Saga soundalike tag, and have struck out on their own musical stylings, which is a rich keyboard laced tapestry with hi-tech percussion and drum work to accompany it. The songs though are much stronger than previous efforts, and stand out on their own as individual pieces of class. Frank Levin is still the main man here, those keyboards are magical, and the strings give this album some depth.


The Songs
For example listen to the wonderful 'Tell Diane' where there are keyboard melodies and counter-melodies all over the place. 'Chopin's Heart' is a favourite of mine, subtle but effective, and a great uplifting ending. Elsewhere, 'Here Stood Troy' has a regimented feel to it, and is as epic and pompous as the song title suggests. 'No Picasso' has some weird dubs to start off with but moves in the same territory as Glass Tiger. Things get guitar oriented with 'We Set Him Free' which has some Russian sounding vocal chanting going off in the background. Perhaps it's something to do with lyrics.. who knows. We get to see an aggressive side of the band with 'Thorn In My Side' which is very hi-tech and punchy, and rocks along in accelerated mode. 'Beyond The Shock' is a commercial attempt, and is very typical of other Canadian AOR bands operating at the same time a la Paradox and Regatta. 'Happy Endings' is perhaps the odd track out, sounding more like a Zappacosta outcast. There is also an instrumental amongst all this too, called 'Moving Day' and it surely gallops along, while the last track 'Picture' meanders at half pace, and finishes the album off in a not too convincing fashion. However, they are saved by all the great music that preceded it.


In Summary
For collectors trying to find this gem, this is about as hard to find as 'Almacantar'. Even harder to find are copies of their first effort. Where this band went to and what any of the members are doing now I'd be interested to know. For lovers of hi-tech AOR, put Eight Seconds at the top of your list.


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Comments
#1 | gerard on July 27 2013 19:51:59
I only have 'Almacantar' unfortunately (like it a lot!) and don't really know much about the band members. Did notice, however, that one Frank Levin plays on the Canadian duo One 2 One's album 'Imagine it'...
#2 | gdazegod on July 28 2013 00:17:28
Yep, same guy. Very creative keyboardist.
#3 | gdazegod on October 22 2013 13:55:33
Frank Levin's real name is Francois Lavigne. Any relation to Avril?
#4 | gdazegod on October 22 2013 13:56:55
YouTube Video:
#5 | gdazegod on October 22 2013 14:02:23
YouTube Video:
 
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