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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Airkraft - 1983 Lets Take Off
Airkraft - 1983 Lets Take Off

ARTIST: Airkraft
ALBUM: Lets Take Off
SERIAL: 5675
YEAR: 1983


LINEUP: Dave Saindon - vocals, guitars * Mitch Viegut - guitars, vocals * Peter Phippen - bass, vocals * Dave Roll - keyboards * Michael Wood - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Alien Probe * 02 You're My Girl * 03 Tearing Me Apart * 04 You Can't Run Away From Love * 05 Gimme Your Number * 06 Lets Take Off * 07 Thought * 08 It's Not So Easy * 09 How Does It Feel * 10 She's Rock


The origins of Wisconsin based band Airkraft go way back to 1982. The formative members were singer Dave Saindon and guitarist Mitch Viegut. However, the band came together as a union of members from Wausau based Alien Probe (Saindon, Viegut) and Eau Claire based Open Fire (Phippen and Rolls). Drummer Michael Wood had just emigrated from San Francisco and completed the line-up. Though the two towns are about 150km apart, the regional West-Central Wisconsin connection is very strong. As a result, these guys achieved regional success on a par with Lynn Allen in Iowa, Michael Stanley in Cleveland and of course Shooting Star in Kansas City. Initially playing bars, the newly formed Airkraft entered one of their songs ('Alien Probe') as a 45' single into a local radio competition. They duly won it, and worked toward an initial debut record, but not without playing a ton of gigs all around the midwest beforehand. At this early stage of their career, Airkraft's sound combined the likes of REO Speedwagon and Adrenalin - earthy melodic rock with multiple harmonies and integrated use of guitars and keyboards.

The Songs
The lead off track 'Alien Probe' is the best remembered track from their early days. The crazy Alien sound effects from keyboardist Dave Roll are amusing and add to the overall effect. However, some of these tracks, even on a tight budget and less than ideal production facilities sound damn good. If anything it gives you an idea as to how far advanced these guys were for their time. The bands second single 'You Can't Run Away From Love' was another popular tune - with a stabbing piano for a theme and emotive vocals from Saindon. 'You're My Girl' was another track earmarked for local commercial airplay, this one has more pop qualities rather than rock - particularly that power-pop like chorus. 'Gimme Your Number' is an infectious upbeat ditty, while the title track 'Let's Take Off' is an early indicator of their intended direction for later albums. 'Thought' is the odd-man in the pack, an atmosphere drenched number which speaks to me in progressive tones - a change-up yes, but good nonetheless. 'It's Not So Easy' was the B-side of that initial 'Alien Probe' single, the album finishing up with the pairing of 'How Does It Feel', and 'She's Rock' - the latter track sounding like a cross between Face Dancer and that fabulous one-off Russia album!

In Summary
The band would continue a heavy schedule of gigs right through until their 1985 album 'Proximity', and eventually leading on to a major label deal with Curb Records. For starters though, this is where it all began for Airkraft, and to this day, are still recognised as one of the leading lights of melodic rock coming out of the Central Wisconsin area. The band dissolved in 1995, though there are many people still interested in their discography and history. See the website of Mitch Viegut for more detail.

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#1 | Eric on March 26 2008 23:24:47
Obscure info to be sure, but the vocalist and guitarist of Airkraft actually tried out for a gig in the early 90's with Ocean Nation which evolved into Faith Nation. Something to do with management conflicts or some such issue and it fell apart. Would have been a great band *sigh* and I have a Ocean Nation demo which was nothing short of prime time 'The Seventh One' Toto. Masters long gone and lost....
#2 | tonissive on October 11 2012 11:13:32
i have this and the 1989 self-titled album on vinyl! however never i couldnt find the 'proximity' album!
and like curiosity the singer sometimes recall-me totally to geddy lee or maybe is my imagination!
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