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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Visitor - 1980 Visitor
Visitor - 1980 Visitor

ARTIST: Visitor
ALBUM: Visitor
LABEL: Arabellum
YEAR: 1980


LINEUP: Marty Wagner - lead guitar, acoustic guitars, vocals * Joe Saba - bass, 12 string acoustic, backing vocals * Danny Marcil - lead vocals, keyboards, guitars * Paul Leonardo - drums, percussion, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hot Tonight * 02 Freedom Of Rock N Roll * 03 As Dreams Go By * 04 Subtitle * 05 A Song For Me * 06 Time And Time Again * 07 Conscious Objector * 08 The Wall Of Demise (Cindy's Song)

I recall reading about the debut album of this band over twenty years ago, but after endless searching began to think that this group were rather like the Abominable Snowman and the Loch Ness monster - a figment of my diseased imagination. Lo and behold thanks to the power of the world wide web and the guys at Last Vestige Records, this album finds itself in my hot little pinkies and another nagging gap in my vinyl collection is filled.

The Songs
'Hot Tonight' is a frenetic, if slightly uninspiring opener which evokes memories of Teaze or Triumph particularly in the crass lyric department. For example 'Money don't get everything it's true, but it just might cover what I want from you'. A word of advice guys, don't try and use that as a chat up line on the fair(er) sex, unless you're considering an alternative career as a professional eunuch! Don't get me wrong I love a slightly gonzoid, 'good time rock and roll' hard rock song as much as the next person, and am a big fan of the aforementioned bands. However in this instance it's a case of it's all been done before, and with considerably more panache. But to be fair, the band's enthusiasm can't be faulted. Better by far is 'Freedom Of Rock n Roll' which musically at least is superior to it's predecessor and opens to the strains of hammond keys sounding similar to Redvette, but they're still found wanting in the lyric department. 'As Dreams Go By' displays the bands more sophisticated side, and is all the better for it. They exercise restraint with plaintive vocals and atmospheric keyboards - definitely a highlight. Side one closer 'Substitute' (not the Who song) is standard hard rock fare, but does at least have a memorable chorus. On the flip side 'A Song For Me' continues this theme, then the tempo slows again on 'Time And Time Again' much as 'As Dreams Go By' did on the other side. For me, the album's standout cut is 'The Wall Of Demise (Cindy's Song)' an ambitious epic with several tempo changes that reminds me of something Rush might have attempted in their early days with Neil Peart. It's a great pity there weren't more songs of this quality.

In Summary
Visitor also released a follow up mini album 'Take It' during 1983 which I haven't heard, and I'd be intrigued to know if they followed this direction or the 'no frills' approach. To summarise then, their debut is a bit of a mixed bag with a variety of influences. It's enjoyable enough, though I doubt I'll be playing it regularly and wallowing in nostalgia, as I do with some of the other long lost gems in my collection. A word of advice though, don't seek this record out unless you're a fanatic, and/or prepared to pay serious money.

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#1 | reyno-roxx on June 13 2008 16:46:41
I remember reading Xavier Russell's review in 'Sounds' back in 1980 where he suggested that there were Boston comparisons to be had. Hmmm...
It was on my wants list for nine years before I found a copy in a Hamilton, Ontario record store for a mere 29 cents! Imagine the joy!
However, I was rather underwhelmed when I played the thing. About six years later I decided to sell it when I got an offer for it from Sweden for something between £100 to £150. I played it again just to be sure. Only really liked one song and sold it.
#2 | super80boy on March 07 2013 04:23:35
I recently acquired a SS copy of this and liked it very much. There's a decent variety of sounds on display and with the tempo changes, it provides for an engaging listen.
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