MARCELLO VESTRY - MARCELLO VESTRY (2008, NL DISTRIBUTION/AVALON JAPAN)
Rob Marcello - guitars, keyboards
Frank Vestry - vocals
Bruno Ravel - bass
Lynn D Ruhms - drums
Mike Pont - background vocals
Korg Young - additional guitars
Well we've given this album enough preamble and forewarning, right from the start of the 2008 year. Ever since we first heard those three song samples up on MV's MySpace page, many of us knew this album was gonna be killer - and so it proves. A devastating melodic rock album that adds to an already impressive roster of releases during the first half of the year. The pairing of guitar maestro Rob Marcello and singer Frank Vestry is a match made in melodic rock heaven! Rob certainly has a vast track record behind him now. His stints include Ron Keel
, Mike Vescera's MVP
and more recently his current gig with Danger Danger
. Rob is also a guitar clinic rep for Roland/Boss, and spends a lot of time doing workshops. Frank Vestry on the other hand has sung with East Coast based outfits including Jack Starr
's Burning Star
, The Pack
, Last Temptation
. Despite Frank's background, many of us in the industry are only just picking up on him now. I think that situation has irreversibly changed however, as he really is an incredible talent, and the perfect foil for Rob's amazing guitar playing. Let's not forget the role of Danger Danger
bandmate Bruno Ravel, who contributes bass and production duties. So that does that mean this a D2 album in disguise? No, not entirely. It has similar elements yes, particularly to that of their 1989 debut, but it doesn't have the party-anthem vibe that made that album so successful.
gets us underway with a Brother Firetribe
like intro and overall vibe. It is strong on guitar/keyboard interplay, and struts across the soundscape with sing-along chants and fervent patriotism for the red white and blue.
For me, 'Ready Or Not'
is the anthem of 2008! First heard on Myspace, the lyrics are very clever, integrating band names and situations. It's as if the band are welcoming the return of melodic rock from the 80's again, and in this dire day and age of hip hop, idol-dom and talentless artists, that would be a great thing.. surely? lol!
'All I Wanna Do Is U'
might have the suggestive title, and is the closest track here to Danger Danger
's fun-time antics. This might've sounded quite appropriate on the 'Screw It' CD!
The second Myspace offering is 'Gone'
. The song rides along the pulsing bass backbone provided by Bruno Ravel. Rob's guitar is less of a sonic intrusion all round melding nicely with everything else, except of course for the neo-classical solo. It's an integrated song in the complete sense of the word.
opens with an interesting synth sequence with guitar riffs wrapped around, before breaking out into a brief jazzy arrangement through the verse. The chorus however is straight out of the AOR songbook.
is another uplifting feel good anthem in the Danger Danger
vein. It's a pity that they didn't name the song 'Live Live', keeping the tradition of D2's knack of the double term a la 'Naughty Naughty', 'Bang Bang', and of course, their own band name!
MV change speed with the semi-ballad 'What You Mean'
, which highlights the impressive vocal of Frank Vestry. The touch-tender arrangement is an aural calm in the eye of the melodic storm!
is the third installment from those triumvirate of Myspace songs. A killer song that represents what melodic hard rock is all about. Though Rob's guitar solo has a certain Vinnie Moore
feel about it, the keyboards, huge lead and backing vocals bring it back into the mainstream. Tremendous..
'Gangster Of Love'
continues the fun time being had by this lot. It's a throwback to the 80's alright, perhaps not as immediate as the other tracks heard thus far, but the hair metal connotation is there in all its glory! I liked Rob's variation during the solo section. One moment he is pulling arpeggio sweeps out of the back pocket, then next he changes tone to a clean jazz picking style. Impressive indeed.
My pick for song on the album is the sensational 'One More Night'
. Take healthy doses of Danger Danger
melody and wrap it up with modern day production values, then you have the perfect recipe. It's a relentless track, with a constant underpinning bass line from Bruno driving home hard.
The Japanese version of the CD features an acoustic performance of 'Gone'
. Just Frank, Rob and no electrics! This version is not on the European release through NL Distribution.
It is a very unusual situation to see so many quality melodic rock releases in a short space of time. What is happening out there? No doubt many of you will have read our 2008 articles and witnessed first hand the quality that is coming through. Marcello Vestry can easily be added to that list, and I'm sure that by years end it will hold a top position in your Best Of Lists for 2008. The only disappointing thing for me personally was seeing some very well known Blogspot sites (you know who you are!!) putting this album up as a freebie download before it was released publicly. Shame on you thieves. Do your self a favour, grab a copy from your regular CD supplier and keep a copy in your collection forever and a day. Good news however. Rob Marcello has recently signed on here at GDAZE, and is impressed by what we have here, and we will run an interview with him very very soon, and possibly also Frank Vestry, as we need to get his name in lights as well. Stay tuned, and join the Marcello Vestry Supporters Club!
02 Ready Or Not
03 All I Wanna Do Is U
05 Without You
06 Live Life
07 What You Mean
08 Love Injection
09 Gangster Of Love
10 One More Night
11 Gone (Acoustic) [Japan Bonus]
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