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USM - 2000 Silver Step Child


USM - SILVER STEP CHILD (2000, NIGHTMARE RECORDS)
Tony Ritchie - lead vocals, bass
Pete Southern - lead and rhythm guitars
Lionel Hicks - drums

Additional backing vocals - Ivan Norris
Additional keyboards - Tony Ritchie and Lionel Hicks


Background
Anyone familiar with Balance of Power will recognise the name of Tony Ritchie, their former vocalist. While still involved with BOP Tony has created is own band and as a result we have 'Silver Step Child'. When BOP's debut came out I was very impressed with the music, but did find Tony's vocals a little bit under par. However, on this album he has put in an excellent performance. I feel this may be due to the more aggressive sound of USM which doesn't require Tony hitting the higher registers that were necessary with BOP.

The Songs
USM has a harder, more modern sound to BOP but the trademark melodies, power choruses and massive production are still evident thanks to the inclusion of guitarist Pete Southern and Lionel Hicks, both BOP members. Tracks such as opener 'Beneath The Low', 'That Paranoia Thing' and 'Kiss The Sun' are all examples of this. Pete Southern's lead work is once again of an impressive standard, carrying on from the last BOP album. Tony, not only putting in a great vocal performance, adds the bass parts and teams up with Lionel to create a formidable rhythm section.

In Summary
For someone I'd previously had reservations about I have to say 'Silver Step Child' is a fine album and I look forward to more from Tony in the future.

Track Listing:
01 Beneath The Low
02 Silver Step Child
03 Believe It Or Not
04 The Time Of Our Lives
05 It's All Over Now
06 Kiss The Sun
07 The Weird And The Wonderful
08 Terrorphobiac
09 The Other Side Of Paradise
10 That Paranoia Thing

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