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Saylor, David A - 2013 Kiss Of Judas [ep]




ARTIST: Saylor, David A
ALBUM: Kiss Of Judas [ep]
LABEL: AOR BLVD
SERIAL: ABR005
YEAR: 2013
SPONSOR: AOR BLVD

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: David A. Saylor - vocals, all instruments * Huwey Lucas - guitar solo (3) * Lars Wickett - drums (2,3) * Paul Pryor - bass (3) * David Mark Pearce - guitar solos (4,5,6) * Sarah Leaman, Jacquie Williams, Romany Saylor - additional backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Kiss Of Judas * 02 If Only * 03 Ana * 04 Tonight * 05 True Reflection * 06 Now I'm Free * 07 Stand Up And Fight (acoustic mix) * 08 Strange World (acoustic mix)

RATING:


Background
The name David Saylor should be familiar to those who have followed the newish AOR BLVD Records over the last few years. Previously the singer with 80's UK band Push, Saylor has become a label favourite, with the reissued Push album along with his previous solo CD 'City Of Angels' and this new one 'Kiss Of Judas' given some backing. If you've been on Facebook, Saylor is there, with this new EP looming on the horizon some months back. It's a pleasant slice of melodramatic AOR, with all the pre-requisites necessary to make an impact in the AOR sub-genre. Musically, I'm reminded of some previous British outfits such as Bite The Bullet, Say and Radio Silence, but Saylor's vocals lift substantially above what those outfits delivered.


The Songs
It's that voice that carries this EP, though the lead-off track (the title track) wasn't an immediate hit for me, a weaker chorus than expected, and the vocal shout-outs not quite making the right impact. Things improve a heap over the next few tracks. Some delicate and well placed keyboards give 'If Only' a great introduction. Honey roughened guitars help give it some presence, but the chorus is the hundreds and thousands on top. 'Ana' (pronounced 'Anna') is just exquisite stuff, a ballad of the first degree, and one I've been playing often. 'Tonight' appeals as a mid-range partial ballad. An ok song, but it didn't carry enough dynamics to match the two songs that went before. Saylor bumps up the dial for 'True Reflection'. It sounds slightly edgier with nice female harmony vocals added to the mix, though it's still lightweight in the overall context. 'Now I'm Free' features medium rare verses but well-done choruses, some synth intrusions like a well rendered fork, while the guitar-work leaves knife marks across the body of the song. The two final tracks are acoustic versions of 'Stand Up And Fight' and 'Strange World'. I wasn't that keen on their inclusion here, much preferring the original versions found on Push's CD 'Strange World', Saylor probably should've added two recent additions instead, just to keep the consistency of the EP intact.


In Summary
This is a very likeable EP, Saylor's vocals really the key attraction here. Originally when I first played this, I thought it was under produced, but having listened to it under a decent set of phones, that's not the case at all. Saylor is slowly but surely building up a nice port-folio of material, and 'Kiss Of Judas' consolidates the mans ability within the melodic rock/AOR sub-genre.


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Comments

#1 | george_the_jack on November 10 2013 11:15:18
Some really quality stuff here. David's voice is class on its own. ''If only'' is one of the best songs I've heard in 2013 while all the songs have their special qualities.

Unfortunately there's still a problem with the production; more specifically with the mastering of the recordings. The arrangements do sound flat and not live enough in places with the recorded channels not appropriately ''connected'' with each other on some occasions. This is really bad as I'm wondering what this wonderful voice would have accomplished if had the production and mastering qualities of a producer like Pelle Saether or Ale Del Vechio. I don't find any issues with the 2 acoustic takes of Push UK songs. On the contrary, as being just voice and guitar sound much more ''right'' than the rest of the stuff.

Anyway, this is one of the greatest things I've heard throughout 2013 and the aforementioned drawbacks are not enough to deprive my ''thumbs up'' to the guys from AOR BLVD and David himself for putting out some great stuff on a reasonable budget. I just hope their next effort will be ''World Class''. They are capable of for sure!
#2 | mystichealer on November 10 2013 19:10:17
I don't have a problem with the production or mastering to be honest. This was done on such a small budget that imo it's a miracle it sounds as good as it does.
'If Only' is i agree an absolute gem of a song as are pretty much all of them.
I think it's fantastic that David is recording this kinda stuff and the guys at AORBLVD deserve a great big pat on the back.
This is a great EP for sure.
#3 | gdazegod on November 13 2013 21:44:55
YouTube Video:
#4 | swazi on June 10 2014 22:20:47
I met David personally at a gig in Nottingham last year, promoting this CD after Firefest. A very friendly and pleasant person, who has a great voice. This disc is highly recommended!

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