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Articles Home » 1995 Articles » Burnpool, The - 1995 The Burnpool
Burnpool, The - 1995 The Burnpool

ARTIST: Burnpool, The
ALBUM: The Burnpool
LABEL: I/O Records
YEAR: 1995


LINEUP: Rayne Johnson - vocals * Maike Davis - guitars * Lee Chidgey - keyboards, vocals * Matt Chidgey - bass, vocals * Mike Mudd - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Titan * 02 Snowblind * 03 Same Old Song * 04 Bad Attitude * 05 Guilt Release * 06 Once Around * 07 In The City * 08 Head For The Hills * 09 Don't Follow Me * 10 Calling America * 11 Jane

Let's be honest.. 1995 was a shit year in AOR, wasn't it? Actually, the prior three years were too. However the tide was about to change. Not exactly drowning but then not exactly searching for an AOR lifeguard were Californian band The Burnpool. A sometimes complex sound befits this band. From Simi Valley, they are a mixed bag, but quite classy all around! With a keyboard player in the mix you just know these guys can play a bit, the only non-redeeming feature is the 'less than convincing' vocal performance of Johnson.. unfortunately. However, it's more than made up for by the solid production of guitar legend Bruce Kulick (Good Rats, Michael Bolton, KISS). Mix in similar era acts like Biloxi, Stone Soup (a.k.a French Lick) Artica, and Sic Vikki and you'll know where these guys are coming from. The guitars are damn good, the rhythm section is spot on, and the songs have a 'different' ring to them.. somewhere between epic, progressive and hair metal.. not necessarily in that order. The opening two tracks 'Titan' and 'Snowblind' are a very strong opening pair. Rough and tough approach with melodic agggression. 'Same Old Song' is less metal, and after a promising intro, is spoilt by the now annoying tones of Rayne Johnson. 'Bad Attitude' features some cutting guitars from six-stringer Davis, while some Skull like influences make their prescence felt on 'Guilt Release'.

The Songs
The band move positively onto 'Once Around': great intro, cool verses, and a swingingly memorable chorus that Axel Rose would be proud of. 'In The City' is another powerful track, not unlike the excellent Biloxi, while 'Head For The Hills' tries its best to invoke memories of past HM glories somewhat unconvincingly, though it's roots are firmly entrenched in the sound of Euro legends Accept. Despite the name 'Don't Follow Me', you are forced to trudge behind them with this unremarkable tune. However, saving graces are delivered on the last track, with a stirring rendition of Jefferson Starship's 'Jane' (not 'Jade' as some would have you believe on their CD sleeve). Probably not as good as the Roko version, but creditable nonetheless.

In Summary
I think it's all been said before, a great band sort of made to sound ordinary by their singer (remember Melidian anyone?). However, the overall result is still way above average, but just think what it could've been!! Another for the one-off wonders award.

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