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Articles Home » 2001 Articles » Roulette - 2001 Lifeline
 
Roulette - 2001 Lifeline


ROULETTE - LIFELINE (2001, ESCAPE MUSIC, ESM 064)
David Cremin - vocals
Chuck More - guitars
Phil Bright - bass
Gil Gagnon - keyboards
Jimmy Rehn - drums


Background
These guys come to us from Earthquake zone San Francisco. Yep, it might seem a bit of a gamble living in a city where bridges buckle and the earth splits asunder, but you can be guaranteed that Roulette are going to compound the situation not fix it. For many years the San Andreas Fault has been threatened by the aural assault of many bands from that area, and it certainly isn't about to stop with this mob. Definitely a band who are lost in the 80's, lots of hair, lots of splash and dash, and a full compliment of sound. According to Escape Music, they've toured with some big names such as fellow Bay Area heroes Y&T and Montrose, but this time in, they give us a rope to hold onto with their album 'Lifeline', a harkback to melodic 80's hard rock/AOR. Some exceptional bands have been bandied about in terms of comparison. There's a definite hint of Jack Ponti styled arrangements within their music, from those Surgin days all the way through to Baton Rouge. However, I feel the mix is split between big keyboard driven songs and crunchy anthemic rockers a la Sic Vikki and Little Angels.

The Songs
'No Telling Lies' is a great way to open up, it's a slow builder with a super chorus and solo section. 'She Gets What She Wants' passes a cursory glance at the aforementioned Little Angels, while 'Victim Of Innocence' reminds me a lot of the UK band Midnight Blue off their album 'Take The Money And Run'. Lots of racy keyboards and guitars which has a UK feel to it. 'Party Dress' features some crunching guitars and some big chanty choruses. This is followed along in similar fashion by 'Def Dumb And Blond' though the bass is much funkier here. Roulette have a bit of fun on 'Lost And Found', with a continuation of that funky approach where Sunshine Jive meets Extreme. 'Hangin' On The Line' is mainstream AOR where those keyboards take center stage. 'Lifeline' also has keyboards to the fore in another surging track, while the power ballad 'One More Chance' slows up at the end in restrained mode, opening up like 70's style Queen circa 'Night At The Opera' with stabbing pianos, before changing tack with a heavy handed finish a la Stone Soup..

In Summary
There are some great albums now on the Escape roster, and some of these are worth checking out. Roulette included. Fans of 80's melodic hard rock will find a home with this mob. Certainly nothing new or ground breaking, but what they do, they do well. Across the ten tracks, the consistency is high, and the interest level is retained right through to the end, a rare commodity these days.

Track Listing:
01 No Tellin' Lies
02 She Gets What She Wants
03 Victim Of Innocence
04 Party Dress
05 Call Me
06 Def Dum And Blond
07 Lost And Found
08 Hangin' On The Line
09 Lifeline
10 One More Chance

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