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Articles Home » 2000 Articles » Hit The Ground Runnin' - 2000 Control Yourself
Hit The Ground Runnin' - 2000 Control Yourself

Blair Rumsey - vocals
Allan Augunas - guitars
Rob Knauss - keyboards
Paul Piccari - bass
Craig Soma - drums

Resurrected from the long lost eighties are American refugees Hit The Ground Runnin'. These guys are in some ways similar to Philadelphia's Network, a band that released material way back when, couldn't get the thing released, and disappeared off the map only to be found again like Lazarus at the hairdressers getting a make-over! Fantastic AOR with hints of all the best artists from the golden days who are too numerous to mention here. The band were previous known as Free Delivery, but changed their name to Hit The Ground Runnin' and released an album in 1988 called 'Sudden Impact'. The songs on this particular opus 'Control Yourself' were in fact recorded as far back as 1989/90, but due to the typical band/management issues, they lost their deal and split not long after. With the exposure of the Internet however, their songs once again found favour, and the rest as they say.. is history, and here we are. The songs are hook laden, great guitar and keyboard interplay, while the arangements are punchy in that eighties AOR style. Blair Rumsey's vocals do at times sverve into the same lane as Kevin Cronin and Johnny Lindsey (Tradia), especially when those choruses are belted out. I suppose for someone like me reviewing this album would be like a kid in a candyshop, such are the goodies on show here. I could pick the eyes out of each track, but why bother, it's all great stuff regardless.

The Songs
The highlights? Well 'Holding On' is pretty spectacular, sort of like Tradia meets Tour de Force (has that got the appetite going?), while the piano laced ballad 'Lost' could've been an REO Speedwagon hit single given the right time and place. Pomp bombast comes to the fore on the wonderful 'Back Again', again with Tradia influences, while 'Still Life Lover' has definite Balance overtures. 'Born To Be With You' has a good happy party type flavour throughout, like REO Speedwagon meeting Sik Vikki down at the drive in! Keyboards swirl in from left field on the track 'Pain' and despite the title, you'd envisage a dark brooding song. However what we get is a bright pulsing and punchy slab of melodic rock, with Rob Knauss giving the ivories a good aural blast, as he does with the organ flavoured raunch of 'Surrounded By Fire' with a sublime pulsing bass lining the core of the song.

In Summary
If you live for eighties style AOR then this is what it's all about. Not original by any means, but definitely a hell of a lot better than whats on offer out there at the moment. A very very pleasant surprise, and nice to know that the guys have reformed to give it a crack second time around. This CD is now available from a few places, best to check the website listed above. Now, I think I'd better get my interview notes together for a chat with these guys. Thanks go to Dan McKeown at Smash Entertainment (

Track Listing:
01 Control Yourself
02 Back Again
03 Shanghai'd
04 Lost
05 Still Life Lover
06 Born To Be With You
07 Pain
08 Holding
09 I.C.V
10 Dirty Girl
11 Surrounded By Fire

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#1 | swazi on November 06 2011 14:50:02
"Sudden Impact" is most likely one of the most sought after and expensive CD's out there. Some people even question its existence as it is never seen anywhere. I have never seen it either, but I have heard of people who seem to own a copy. Lucky bastards! This one is good, too, and used to be pretty easy to find. Not sure how it is these days, though.
#2 | gdazegod on November 07 2011 00:57:14
It exists.
#3 | super80boy on January 22 2017 20:18:32
I recently (finallyGrin) acquired their debut album 'Sudden Impact' on vinyl and that is a real treat! 'Control Yourself' is a continuation of the top drawer AOR formula that their debut had, but adds a more mature stylistic progression in the arrangements. A real shame they couldn't get the record deal done for this one, but cool that Smash did a limited reissue of it on CD with 11 of the original 'demo' tracks polished up for prime time. Highly Recommended!
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