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Defcon - 2005 Defcon

Mark Matthews - vocals, bass
Tony Artino - guitars
Nick Lepar - drums
Shawn Zavodney - keyboards, vocals

Described as one of the greatest hair-metal bands never to have signed to a major. Tall praise indeed, though I can think of a ton of bands elsewhere who may lay claim to this title, not just these eighties rockers. Originally from Akron Ohio, During 1988, Defcon would later find themselves camped out in Chicago trying to break into the big time. It's not as if they were bereft of influential people trying to help. Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Whitesnake), Freddie Salem (The Outlaws) all trying to give them a break. The band released a series of demos between 1988 and 1991, all of which culminate on this retrospective CD release - courtesy of Retrospect Records. If it's eighties melodic hair metal you're after with a touch of AOR, then Defcon are the team for you. The band has a ton of similarities (I won't mention here) so you won't be lost trying to find a comparison somewhere along the way. People who may have heard these tracks might be placing some critique on the quality, as they were essentially demos. Believe me they sound damn good, even fifteen years after the event. We get a mix of material, full-on rockers interspersed with a couple of gorgeous ballads.

The Songs
I've read a few reviews out there, and also some wise-ass snide comments from some other quarters criticising this. Get a **ckin' life people, there ain't nothing wrong this album all. From the Artica flavoured intro of 'How Close' (a sensational track to be honest) to the over-extended 7 minute epic 'My Time To Fly', Defcon have got something to please everyone. On the power ballad stuff - like 'Time Waits', they venture into Whitesnake territory with ease, or even 'Into The Night', Icon is as good a reference point as any. The two standout ballads are 'Never Too Far Away' and the touch tender perfection of 'One Last Time', with guitars that soar into space. With twelve tracks to choose from, this should get repeat play as often as the best parts from a porn DVD!

In Summary
As an aside for all you collectors out there, Retrospect also have a CD available called Dreamstreet, which features Artino, Lepar and Michael Stanley Band/The Innocent alumni Rodney Psyka. The album is called 'Heartzone'.. one wonders where Rodney picked that album title up from.. lol! Also, there is a private pressing of eleven Defcon tracks on a CD called 'Phase I-III' which came out in 2004. No doubt this was the pre-cursor to the Retrospect release. Defcon is a superb CD for those of you who can't quite escape the clutches of eighties/early nineties hair metal.. like me!


Track Listing:
01 How Close
02 Rock Me
03 My Time To Fly
04 Cold Hearted
05 Time Waits
06 Into The Night
07 Don't Stop The Lovin
08 Never Too Far Away
09 All Night Long
10 All Your Love
11 Hard Loud & Heavy
12 One Last Time


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#1 | spawn71 on December 17 2006 12:27:22
Yes George, this is a great CD, reissued in 2006 by Retrospect Records with a new artwork and a slightly different tracklist!
#2 | Jez on June 16 2008 12:08:56
Imagine a heady mix of Whitesnake, XYZ & Hurricane plus some mega keys to top it all off & the results speak for themselves. 'How Close' opens in bombastic fashion & is a good taster of what is to come. The absolute highlight no question is 'My Time To Fly'. One of the best tracks I have heard in ages & I don't say that lightly.
It starts it's 7 minutes with a magnificent keyboard/drum section, then kicks in BIG time half way with a Huge Whitesnake style riff for the big finish - an Absolutely MEGA track and I defy anyone not to get off big styley on this one. For demo's, these are of excellent quality with only maybe a couple not quite up to standard. So, a complete Big,Huge,Massive,Enormous Thumbs up (Yes,I like It)

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