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Vishusgruv - 2009 Dirty Little Secrets

ARTIST: Vishusgruv
ALBUM: Dirty Little Secrets
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Mario Massi - guitars, keyboards, vocals * Trace Edward Zabar - keyboards, vocals * Jeff Dewbray - lead vocals * C.J. White - bass, vocals * Johnny Zek - percussion, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Destiny * 02 Dirty Little Secret * 03 Poison Kisses * 04 Heart Of Stone * 05 Missing You * 06 Ready For The Passion * 07 Angel * 08 Karma * 09 Dreamer/Victim Of The System



Vishusgruv were a Chicago based band that never made it to great heights in their past life, really only achieving some sort of notoriety on the Heavy Harmonies website. Not having heard any of their music, I'd been made aware of their debut album, which was released in 1991. The band did release a second album called 'II', which came out in cassette only format during 1993. It is this album which has been rebadged as 'Dirty Little Secrets', for AOR-FM Records 7th release. It seems the label has now been put on hold, due to the economic downturn, so if it is to be AOR-FM's swansong, then Vishusgruv deliver a surprise package of pompous proportions. The band's mainstay is a chap by the name of Mario Massi, but unfortunately you don't get to see and hear about anything related to Vishusgruv on his website, which is a shame. The straight ahead hard rock on their debut has been superceded by a very heavy pomp/AOR sound, with the vocals falling the way of Ted Poley and David Glen Eisley in parts. Vishusgruv are not as racy as D2, but Massi has laid it on with a thick and full sound, which will please AORsters no end.

The Songs
Keyboard effects introduce the impressive opener 'Destiny'. You can't help think Gregg Giufrria on that opening burst, perhaps even Giuffria circa their 1984 debut album, with the vocals edging in favour of David Glen Eisley at times. The title track has a heavy back groove happening, with a prowling bass line underneath. It's very hair-metal oriented, and a product of the early 90's by the sounds of things. Fans of Danger Danger should check out the fantastic pairing of 'Poison Kisses' and 'Heart Of Stone'. The first of the duo is an incredible slab of melodic hard rock, with thick swathes of guitar and keyboards drenched in power melodies. The latter has Ted Poley styled vocals echoing through the airwaves, it's pure bombastic pomp/AOR of the finest sort. Those keyboards parp away in the best tradition. There is some classic scene setting with the sound of falling rain preceding 'Missing You'. At seven minutes, it's one of the longest tracks here. If you are remotely interested in AOR, then this track has to be heard. There are so many influences here, you can take your pick.. For me, I'd suggest outfits like Tour De Force and Artica would make good friends. 'Ready For The Passion' features some dense keyboards in the mould of Norway and Departure, it's another one to give a good dose of repeat listening. The bouncy AOR of 'Angel' is a treat to listen to, clean lines, radio friendly and killer keys to boot! Getting back to an intense brand of rock is 'Karma', if you can imagine Ted Poley's vocals from projects such as Melodica or the more recent Pleasure Dome, then this is what we're dealing with here. The two part 'Dreamer/Victim Of The System' is an eleven minute affair, one track segues into the next. 'Dreamer' is the more AOR of the two, with persistent keys and a rich chorus. 'Victim Of The System' tends to rock out a bit more, with enhanced guitar lines and a change-up on the chorus.

In Summary
It's great to hear this in digital format, and though the band are no longer in existence, they've certainly left us with something that they should be proud of. The quality of the sound is a bit wobbly in some places, but considering this was originally recorded as a tape cassette, I'm not really complaining. Head over to AOR-FM Records and buy this collectors item before it disappears. After this CD, Vishusgruv are no longer the dirty little secret they may have been advertising themselves as!

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#1 | gdazegod on September 21 2009 23:09:36
You can listen to three songs on the album over at this link:


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