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Powerglide (#2) - 2009 On The Edge: 1984-1988

ARTIST: Powerglide (#2)
ALBUM: On The Edge: 1984-1988
LABEL: Retrospect Records
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Paul Goll - vocals, bass * Peter Zins - lead vocals, guitars * Stuart Covington - drums, vocals * Barbara Burke - keyboards, voccals (tracks 1-4) * Lawrence Hamilton - keyboards, vocals (tracks 5-13)

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rockin' On The Radio * 02 Tired Of Hangin' Around * 03 Outside The Circle * 04 Backfire * 05 It's Too Late * 06 Dreams In The Night * 07 Lion In A Cage * 08 Remnants Of Love * 09 On The Edge * 10 Dear Prudence * 11 Survivor * 12 Prelude (For Marilyn) * 13 Lost Without Your Love * 14 Small Price To Pay * 15 Don't Stop * 15 Don't Stop * 16 Losin' Love * 17 If You Just Believe * 18 Licorice Lipsbr>


AOR trainspotters out there will be aware of two bands going under the name Powerglide. The first was a Kansas City based band related to Shooting Star, these guys released a one-off LP back in 1982 called 'Glide On'. However, the version of Powerglide that we are reviewing here are a seperate bunch of AORsters who originate from Massachusetts, and released three albums back in the 80s plus one CD during 1991. There have been a core group of three guys plus an extra keyboard player appearing at two different stages of their history, which goes right back to the mid 70's. Talk about covering all musical bases! There's everything here. Pomp rock, AOR, hi-tech, pop-rock and blues rock, not unlike bands such as Orphan, Bentwood Rocker and a heap more. The material on this retrospective CD is taken from three sessions: 1984's 'On The Edge' LP, the 1986 EP 'Fast Forward' and the 1988 EP 'In The Red'. They are all different in sound, not surprising considering the different years they were produced and the varying influences of the day.

The Songs
Instead of presenting these tracks in chronological order, the tracklisting is reversed with the 1988 tracks appearing first on this CD collection.

1988 'In The Red' EP (tracks 1-4)
Where Blue Tears were rockin' with the radio, Powerglide were 'Rockin' On The Radio', a punchy radio friendly affair to open things up. 'Tired Of Hangin' Round' uses the template that Canadian bands applied during this era, think The Works, Haywire, though the keyboard solo extends that comparison somewhat. Powerglide turn their attention to a pop/rock blend for 'Outside The Circle', a fluid track with a hi-tech/funky feel. The only track that didn't catch on was 'Backfire', a pumping (some would say plodding) backbone that needed to have a tempo to spark it to life. Three ok tracks, one not so good.

1984 'On The Edge' LP (tracks 5-13)
The bulk of the tracks on this CD come from this album. This album captures the band at their best, even though it's very 80's. 'It's Too Late' is a pleasant enough entrance, and the blatant happiness found here will make way for other contrasting styles and sound further on. 'Dreams In The Night' is a track featuring pumping bass, hard driving drum work with a slightly dark edge, no doubt to the song title and subject matter. A big synth intro welcomes in 'Lion In A Cage' amid all the jungle noises. Once we get beyond that, the song gravitates into a tasty and moody sounding rocker - one of the best on the LP to be fair. 'Remnants Of Love' has a party-anthem similar to Jack Mack & The Heart Attack or Doug & The Slugs. The title track 'On The Edge' has a cool urban undercurrent, with a slinky bass line keeping things 'edgy' Powerglide are caught doing a cover version of The Beatles 'Dear Prudence' which comes off sounding something akin to Queen's 'Radio Gaga'. I'm sure it wasn't supposed to, but what the hey? 'Survivor' is a desperate sounding track, with the drum work quite intense. Despite the urgency, it's quite fun sounding with a rollicking attitude. Skipping through the short instrumental 'Prelude' (with a sound snippet of the daytime soap 'Days Of Our Lives' included), the band round off the album with the excellent ballad 'Lost Without Your Love', spacious and roomy complete with great vocals.

1986 'Fast Forward' EP tracks 14-18)
The material on this EP is quite catchy. It has a dance/rock flavour to it, comparing well to bands of the era such as Cock Robin, Drama, Device etc. Surprisingly so. The major melody on 'Small Price To Pay' is gorgeous when you hear it drifting through the verses, 'Don't Stop' is a super melodic pop rocker, a great live Club track I can imagine. The remaining tracks are so typical of the 1986 era, 'If You Just Believe' is full of electronic drums, synths and not much guitar, while 'Licorice Lips' has a ton of percussion and effects going on, particularly a metronomic sounding woodblock effect. Not a hard rocking EP by any stretch of the imagination, and as mentioned, would be appealing to those into hi-tech AOR or pop/rock.

In Summary
One of New England's better melodic rock outfits, the band has been given an infusion of lazarus juice in recent times, with Retrospect Records putting together this compilation of the band, plus there is a DVD of assorted live performances and photo galleries also available from the label. Furthermore and again for granularized trainspotters who need to know every bit of microscopic detail, lead singer/bassist Paul Goll now plays with Donnie Iris. Check out the rest of the Retrospect catalog in the left side Navigation Menu, under 'Record Labels'.

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