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Infinity - 2011 Infinity

ARTIST: Infinity
ALBUM: Infinity
LABEL: Melodic Rock Records
YEAR: 2011


LINEUP: Mitch Malloy - vocals, guitar and drum programming * David Rosenthal - keyboards, drum programming * Rob Jeffries, Donnie Kisselbach - bass * Dave Gellis, Reb Beach - guitar * Mike Kaplan - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 I'm On The Edge * 02 Secrets * 03 She's On Fire * 04 Christine * 05 Let It Go * 06 Liar * 07 Promise Of Love * 08 I Can't Get Over You * 09 Running



It has been 18 long years since the UK's label Now and Then managed to distribute Red Dawn's 'Never Say Surrender' to a wider public; it was originally released in Japan only on 'Inside Out'. Hasn't the melodic rock landscape significantly changed since then, especially in terms of record labels pedalling this genre of music. Back then small labels were really going it alone, many albums were released, some good and some bad, but the likes of Now and Then, Long Island Records, Empire and even at a very early stage, Escape Records, which really we all should be thankful for. So why am I going on about Red Dawn as my opening introduction, well this album has very strong links, in fact you could say it was the beginning of that product, as George mentions in his review of Red Dawn in 1993. Basically this is the Adam and Eve to Red Dawn. David Rosenthal following his departure from Rainbow due to the initial resurrection of the reformed Deep Purple, hooked up with Mitch Malloy, at the time a relatively unknown, working in clubs. In fact 4 of the tracks contained in this release are early versions that were to appear under the Red Dawn banner. Many questions come to mind, like are they any better? any worse? why even bother? Well my thoughts to some of those questions are a positive 'yes, it is worth listening too', some provide an interesting take on the songs and I enjoy Malloy's vocals, more melodic and flowing and that is not taking anything away from Larry Baud performances, undeniably that Red Dawn is still a classic, with Malloy's it's just well (as Ross Geller mentions to Rachel after a one night fling 'well just.. different'). Just enjoy the opportunity to listen to the tracks and discover some new ones, even if it re-ignites the urge just to play Red Dawn again. To some collectors the 1993 opus has become difficult to find at reasonable prices, so that's another reason to make a purchase of this newly available issue on MelodicRock Records. It doesn't mean you will be putting up with second best.

The Songs
I'll split this article into 2 sections, with my thoughts on the Red Dawn coming at the end and those songs for whatever reason never made it come first. Will be considering whether these new ones (in terms of being heard, not when written) are possibly substandard?, not good enough of just a case of 'the cup runneth over'.

Confidence of success must be felt by the label, as this starts off with a newbie - 'I'm On The Edge' exploding out of the same stable of Le Roux's 'So Fired Up', a keyboard chiming opening. By the time it takes a kettle to boil you know it's a worthwhile release. This is very much back to the Mitch Malloy debut, Tour De Force and From The Fire, all merged into one explosive ball of fire. Bugger the guitar solo, we have keyboards solo's, did Ritchie Blackmore ever realise what he was losing when he dispense of Rosenthal's talent for the lure of the mighty dollar (well it wouldn't had been a euro!).

Second on the list is 'Secrets' with a slight tribute to the intro of 'Tom Sawyer' by Rush, but that's enough of the mighty Canadians, as this has an AOR swagger, muscular AOR no less! John Betjeman look out as Mitch recites 'another lover, always told me that there was no other' rips the poetry book into threads. The song has a feel of being on a tiny obscure AOR album, only issued in limited numbers. (Actually a version appeared on Message's 'Fine Line' from 1998). Really we haven't scratched the surface of this album, Rosenthal and Malloy are like surgeons applying stiches to an abrasion, requiring skill and dexterity, this is what Dexter Morgan is to undiscovered murders.

'Let It Go' sounds like it should had appeared on the 'Iron Eagle' film soundtrack, again Le Roux finding a long term relationship along with Clif Magness and Jeff Paris. This is like revisiting your youth, a fun based anthem, going back to an 80's reunion but luckily not that case of discovering that the once teenage beauty queen has turned out to be the matron with 5 kids and 2 failed marriages. No such chance with this tune, parping heaven, pulsating energy.

'Promises Of Love' adds some harpsichord, always my favourite instrument and grows into a great 80's AOR ballad, with Malloy vocals sounding remarkable. Sure this could have easily been an old Rainbow tune as it would had suited Joe Lynn Turner, but in saying that it could quite well had found a position on Malloy's debut.

'Running' is the last of the new ones, and is quite lightweight, but has the tendency to go on a bit, and I found myself losing a slight interest, maybe they should have chosen a shorten distance rather than attempting a marathon. Does have a John Waite feel around it, more from his AOR daze, but still Rosenthal shines.

OK, so an analysis of the songs that appeared on Red Dawn. Four in total, one omission is there is no 'Never Say Surrender' a Malloy co-write not appearing, I wonder why? Anyway 'She's On Fire', again Malloy sings out of his skin, lovely melodic track, powerful with a great chorus, afraid to say that Malloy just pips it, over Baud. This version just seems that touch quicker.

'Christine', well in all honesty this was probably my least favourite of all the Red Dawn tracks and my view hasn't change with the Infinity version.

With 'Liar', this is the probably the most interesting, in some ways it sounds unfinished, missing that power in the keyboards and the brightness is lost. Early verses feel its more Malloy reading the lyrics than singing, although the actual lyrics are unaltered. Really seems to be a work in progress, but nevertheless it is a great insight to the recording process and the developing of an idea. Whatever way you look at it, it is a great song and I really enjoyed this version as much as the revisited one.

This leaves 'I Can't Get Over You', again one of those tracks I feel is great one minute than quite ordinary the next, never understand why, but at the moment I'm enjoying the moment.

Just one housekeeping point, while the CD booklet makes hay of the fact the band was also led by Reb Beach (Winger, Dokken, Whitesnake), well he only appears on two tracks, so maybe they should have highlighted the input of Dave Gellis, him of.. well no idea really, although a Dave Gellis appeared with Meatloaf and Blood, Sweat and Tears, not sure if he is the same!

In Summary
An interesting album, well worth blowing the dust off these tunes and with a playing time of 40 minutes it is a rush through of past good times. In fact to compare to more recent AOR releases I have enjoyed this so much more. Granted there is no 'I'll Be There' or 'Flyin High' but the likes of the opening duo could easily found their way onto the Red Dawn, the obvious quality these two possess is unquestionable. Yes a worthwhile exercise, just surprised it took so long to see the light of day, and maybe Malloy who frequently appears on the stage could merge some of this into his current stage set and I'm sure he would receive a positive response. To finish my thoughts I'm quoting Pete Townsend, 'Basically it's about someone trying to discover the note that is everything, the essence, if you like a musical sort of Infinity'.

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