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Articles Home » 2007 Articles » Zorn, Lec (Project) - 2007 It All Began In The Underground
Zorn, Lec (Project) - 2007 It All Began In The Underground

ARTIST: Zorn, Lec (Project)
ALBUM: It Began In The Underground
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 2007


LINEUP: Click here for personnel on each track.

TRACK LISTING: 01 Lecoverture * 02 Long Time Coming * 03 Second Chance * 04 Play The Game Tonight * 05 Eternal Flame * 06 Fighting Chance * 07 You Keep Me In The Dark * 08 Starting All Over Again * 09 Rush Of Passions Fire * 10 Perseverance * 11 Going The Distance * 12 Second Chance (Alternate Version)



If you've been reading this site for a while now, then the name Lec Zorn will be familiar to you. Lec has been featured in a number of interviews with us since 2001. It's taken six years to finally release what is a 'labor of love' for Lec, and this album 'It All Began In The underground'. Lec - of course, is the pseudonym for Steve McAtee, a man well known in the Internet fan community for the bands Kansas and Shooting Star. When Steve ventured upon putting together his own band playing a style of music that he loves, I'm pretty certain he didn't count on it taking six years to complete! Thanks to the power of the Internet, Steve has managed to make contact with and eventually assemble an excellent lineup of players for the album. Some have been with this project right from the outset, including Departure's Mike Walsh, Tracy White from Shotgun Symphony and drummer Eli Hludzik from Dakota. Musically, it's everything a fan of Kansas, Shooting Star and Survivor could've wanted on one album.

The Songs
Lets go through these with a fine-tooth comb.

The Kansas influence is slightly exaggerated with the instrumental 'Lecoverture' a play on words, but the sound generated would bring a smile to the face of both Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh.

'Long Time Coming' features big guitar riffs and chugs away with Shooting Star circa their 'Burning' LP as a reference point.

'Second Chance' brings the Swedish input to the album, with Tommy Denander and vocalist Pierre Wensberg (Prisoner) doing most of the honors. A fantastic track with the obvious Radioactive traits, but it has the perfect balance between melodic guitar riffs and delicious keyboard layers.

The rendition of Kansas' 1982 single 'Play The Game Tonight' is an excellent version, perhaps played with even more passion and power than the original. The fact that it is sung by Lars Safsund from new Swedish sensations Work Of Art should raise the share price of this album ten-fold.

'Eternal Flame' is the album's power-ballad, with Tracy White providing a near Styx-ian sheen on this track.

'Fighting Chance' is to this album what 'Eye Of The Tiger' is to Survivor. I recall Lec saying that this track had a real athletic feel to it, he wanted it to be compared to the likes of 'EOTT', some of Stan Bush's material or even Queen's 'We Will Rock You'. Indeed, you be the judge..

Fans of those aforementioned reference point bands should get a kick out of 'You Keep Me In The Dark'. It certainly has a Kansas circa 'Power' and Shooting Star circa 'Silent Scream' feel to it. In previous interviews with this site, Lec agreed that the comparison is a fair assessment.

'Starting All Over Again' takes a queue from the Survivor sound-reel highlights, but you'd have to wind the clock back to their 1983 LP 'Caught In The Game' to lock in on it.

Keyboardist Eric Ragno is the king on 'The Rush Of Passion's Fire'. Listen to the huge synth work on this one and tell me you're not blown away! Again, adding fuel to this 'fire' is singer Lars Safsund. On the strength of his two part performance here, I am lining up in the queue for the forthcoming Work Of Art CD. This guy is class!

Another instrumental is 'Perseverance'. The oldest written track on the album, it is mix of Kansas bombast with Asia/Geoff Downes touches throughout.

You could close your eyes and think the opening motif to 'Going The Distance' was in fact Asia blasting out 'Here Comes The Feeling'. However, the feeling only lasts for about 20 seconds before the song changes tack, though unnervingly that comparison rears its head at chorus time.

Closing the album is an alternate take on 'Second Chance'. Earlier you heard the Swedish rendition of this song. This version sees Phil Vincent take the lead, with Eric Ragno and Michael Riesenbeck in tow. I like both versions, but probably favour Denander and Wensberg version just slightly.

In Summary
Despite the calls from the wider community that the AOR genre is a flogged horse beyond the redemption of Lazarus, then 'It All Began In The Underground' lifts a rebellious 'f**k you' finger in defiance. Yep, it may be six years in the making, but it also shows the rest of us what is required to bring a project like this to our hearts and minds in this day and age of instant consumerism and 'Idol-oriented' musical quick fixes. So for those of you bemoaning the fact that your preferred genre of music is on the wane, this is an insight to you as to what's required to bring it to fruition. Time, dedication and a resolute attitude is what's required, and Lec Zorn and associates have shown us how to do it. To reward them on their labor of love, buy yourself a copy, and give them an incentive to release another one.

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#1 | gdazegod on August 11 2007 23:53:40
Thanks to Steve (Lec) for the autographed copies. I'll try and track down Lee Bradfield, who is missing in action at the moment, as he is responsible for writing much of the earlier interview material. He should at least have have a copy too!
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