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Cinema Face - 1983 Cinema Face



ARTIST: Cinema Face
ALBUM: Cinema Face
LABEL: Red Sun
SERIAL: RS-2
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 1994, Pacemaker, PACE-004

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Frank La Magna - vocals, guitars, keyboards * Armin Hart - keyboards, vocals * Darryl Petersen - bass, vocals * Randy Infuso - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 For Your Own Good * 02 How Long * 03 You Drive Me Out Of My Mind * 04 Dancin' Romancin' * 05 Can't Buy My Dearest Love * 06 Lead Us On * 07 Callin' The Shots * 08 Why Be Sorry * 09 Don't You Forget It * 10 Paranoia


Background
This Canadian band are held at the same level of reverence as pomp contemporaries Zon, and though the histories and names are different, the musical delivery is similar. From the Ontario region, Cinema Face delved into a theatrical/musical world first experienced with Zon, but their shelf life was cut short due to internal wranglings with Management. The only other reputable reviews on this album have been written by Barrie Kirtley (Issue #13 of Boulevard magazine and Issue #1 of AOR Classics Magazine). I have no doubt that this is where the majority of people came to know about this band. Otherwise we would be literally none the wiser! Despite bringing strong musicianship to the band, including the addition of ex Lynx bassist Darryl Petersen, the Cinema Face album only saw a dripful of copies actually make it out the door. The aforementioned wranglings curtailing any chance of boosting their profile across Canada. With comparisons being made to Zon, Le Roux and Alpha Centauri, there was every chance that something could've happened to this band, only to find that some bright spark in Management decided to literally remove the propeller from the plane before Flight CF83 could get off the ground.


The Songs
However, the band manage to release the chocks on the runway for a few good minutes at least. The stomping opener 'For Your Own Good' pounds the pavement with cage-rattling intent, a strong chorus amid a flurry of guitar riffs. Keyboards are the curtain call for 'How Long', the whole thing appealing to my Shooting Star sense of melody. For me the highlight is the hard-driving (excuse pun) 'You Drive Me Out Of My Mind'. You sense a musical calm before the storm with this track, the gentle verses preceding a chorus containing a dizzying nightmare of crazed melodies! After that blast of energy, it is followed by the laid back 'Dancin' Romancin' which shuffles with Saga like familiarity. The band pomp things up considerably on 'Can't Buy My Deepest Love', whilst strains of Wrabit drift through on the chorus for 'Lead Us On', a dead ringer for 'Run For Cover' off their 'Tracks' album. Generally though, the keyboard parps and guitar bursts are given a hearty Balance sign of approval. Zon influences are rife on 'Callin' The Shots', the guitars are heavier and the keyboard solo is bouncing off the wall! Returning to an AOR like climate is 'Don't You Forget It' while the album ends in manic fashion with the aptly titled 'Paranoia'. This could pass for NWOBHM material. Wow!


In Summary
The album saw a release on CD in 1994 through well-known Canadian mailorder distributor Pacemaker Records, with the addition of two tracks: 'Ugly Sisters' and 'Number 13', plus the insertion of a new track 'Heaven Knows' in place of 'Why Be Sorry'. The popularity of the CD re-release saw the band temporarily reform for 1996's 'Face Card', though a token attempt it was really thirteen years too late. The Cinema Face CD should be easy enough to pick up via GEMM, and is certainly not the rarity that its vinyl LP predecessor was. If there is one tragedy about the whole Cinema Face affair, is that the world did not get a chance to see or hear Frank La Magna in his prime. Now that is a travesty. This album is a must-have for Zon fans!


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Comments
#1 | richardb on February 18 2006 17:19:48
Good to see this one given a review at last. A fine album and one cherised by yours truly, the follow up (if you can call it that) was not a patch on the debut.

However Frank LaMagna a.k.a. 'Franco' did release the concept album 'Cydonia Mensae' a few years book. I was pleasantly surprised, there's certainly enough on offer to appeal to Cinema Face fans or prog/pomp lovers..

Richard B
#2 | Jez on June 13 2008 08:50:48
A Blast from the past this. I remember getting this on vinyl when it came out in '83. Difficult to pigeon hole this one, but playing it back now it definately has some Saga'ish influences about it - very good in places aswell. Don't know anything else about this band except the follow up 'Face Card' from 1996 was not a patch on this one.
#3 | richardb on June 13 2008 08:58:43
By way of an update Frank LaMagna released an album called 'Cydonia Mensae' (I think) as 'Franco'. If you can get past the slightly pretentious title it's a very good album of progressive hard rock/pomp. Miles better than the disappointing 'Face card' in any event.

Richard
 
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