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Articles Home » 2009 Articles » Great White - 2009 Rising
Great White - 2009 Rising

ARTIST: Great White
ALBUM: Rising
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Jack Russell - vocals * Mark Kendall - guitar * Michael Lardie - guitar, keyboards * Scott Snyder - bass * Audie Desbrow - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Situation * 02 All Or Nothin' * 03 I Don't Mind * 04 Shine * 05 Loveless * 06 It Is Enough * 07 Last Chance * 08 Danger Zone * 09 Down On The Level * 10 Only You Can Do * 11 My Sanctuary * 12 Let's Spend The Night Together



In all honesty the last album I recall hearing from these guys was 1992's 'Psycho City' and that remains a distant memory. This is the bands first album since 2007's 'Back To The Rhythm', which was their first studio album since 1999. The band's best known lineup is almost intact, with Snyder assuming the role of bassist this time around, replacing Sean McNabb. Soundwise the band still continues to flirt with the same type of blues based hard rock they did in their 80's heyday but far more unconvincingly. In fact this is a remarkably weak album in terms of heaviness, with the band trying to sound tough but falling rather flat.

The Songs
I have never been a massive fan of Great White based solely on the heaviness of their 1984 debut and how they degenerated from that point on. You can tell the band is trying to toughen up here on occasion, witness the AC/DC inspired riffing of 'All Or Nothing', which is a well worked piece of boogie. 'Loveless' turns the clock back to 1987 soundwise, only the production is too thin from what is presented here to really have an impact. A massive keyboard laden opening to 'I Don't Mind' raised my eyebrows briefly, but this could also fit for today's tepid modern rock scene also. 'Is It Enough' is a bland rocker which is about as heavy as Sheryl Crow and the slow blues slop returns on 'Last Chance', which again could be a fit on the radio of today, if only the stigma of Great White's name wasn't on it. Elsewhere is the harder rocking 'Danger Zone', and 'Down On the Level', with Russell trying to sound sleazy to some barroom riffs. Tepid ballads are in order, with the wimp workout of 'Only You Can Do', with its slight Led Zeppelin overtones and the excruciating Rolling Stones blues riffs of 'My Sanctuary'. This track is a real bomb as is 'Shine' and it's forced triumphant hook. There's room also for a cover of 'Let's Spend the Night Together', which is about as welcome as 'Nostradamus 2' by Judas Priest.

In Summary
You can tell Great White were trying here but there's just not enough power to make this worth bothering with. Credit to the band for hanging in there and producing new music in a depressed market, but let's hear something with some nuts. The band and its members have certainly been through rough times over the last decade but you could hardly tell listening to this. And maybe it's just the copy I have, but the production is far from sterling. Or is that just synonymous with Frontiers?

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#1 | jeffduran on March 26 2009 07:32:06
Alun, dead on with this which is absolute rubbish! i have always liked GW and look forward to new product. Sadly this and the 2007 "comeback" are pathetic. The once ferocious shark has become a major flounder!
#2 | dangerzone on March 26 2009 20:53:36
Not to mention the artwork, which is worse than some of the crap found on mid 80's Metal Blade albums by Sentinel Beast and Savage Grace! I think my three year old daughter could do better than that.
#3 | gdazegod on March 26 2009 20:58:45
I only ever liked the first album, and that was from years ago, though the ballad 'Save All Your Love' was very very cool, as was the video for it..
#4 | Eric on March 26 2009 22:27:42
Agree on the cover Alun- horrible.
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