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Spiced Ice - 1990 Spiced Ice

ARTIST: Spiced Ice
ALBUM: Spiced Ice
LABEL: SS Records
YEAR: 1990
CD REISSUE: 2006, Retrospect Records, RR 150


LINEUP: Troy Oshann - lead vocals * Eddy Sandor - guitars, vocals * Jerry Miller - drums * Joe Muir - keyboards * Leo White - bass, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hardway * 02 Looking For Love * 03 Tioga Pass * 04 Night After Night * 05 Big Stick * 06 Pretty Is * 07 When She Looks At Me That Way * 08 Together Forever * 09 Green Eyed Lady * 10 Tomorrow Without Love

Spiced Ice were a well-revered AOR outfit originally from California. Along with a handful of other bands these guys currently seem to attract a lot of attention in the 'hard-to-find' album stakes, even though we are now 16 years down the track! Certainly Spiced Ice is not a mainstream release, and it seems that as time goes by this album becomes more valuable by the year. Musically, the band combine the efforts of Tradia, Norway and Airkraft, all of whom had a flair for fiery guitars, stacked keyboards and a commercial angle, and thus we've got something similar with Spiced Ice.

The Songs
However, to square the ledger, the album is not a consistent listen. It is varied. Some songs you will love, some less so. The opener for instance 'Hardway' is primo stuff. I wasn't so enamoured with the follow-up 'Looking For Love'. Executed well admittedly, but the structure, the ideas behind it, and the Bon Jovi vocalisms are a bit of a mish-mash. 'Tioga Pass' is a brief instrumental before we settle into the excellent 'Night After Night'. However, it is spoiled by the party-anthem 'Big Stick', which contains a blast of harmonicas and some annoying Eddie VH guitar antics. 'Pretty Is' improves things yet again, and is followed by the stop/start affair that is 'When She Looks At Me That Way'. The voicebox effects and brass/keyboard parps do a lot to turn me off admittedly. The band drop down to mid-paced tempo for 'Together Forever', the token ballad, but they manage to put the foot back on the gas for the energetic 'Green Eyed Lady', and then finish off with 'Tomorrow Without Love', a track which encompasses the styles of the three aforementioned bands with ease.

In Summary
As I stated earlier, I found the album to be rather inconsistent. Liking one song then disliking the next ended up being a virtual rollercoaster ride listening to this. Apparently the album was going to be re-released on a label called DSB Records during the 2003 year, but this seems to have fallen through. My guess is that you will have more luck finding this on Ebay, though be prepared to fork out close to US$100 for a copy. To be perfectly honest, that amount is extremely overpriced for what you are getting.

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