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Articles Home » 2003 Articles » Tower - 2003 Turn The Page
 
Tower - 2003 Turn The Page


TOWER - TURN THE PAGE (2003, FRONT ROW SEAT MEDIA)
Jerry Gabriel - vocals
Mike Robson - guitars, guitar synthesizer, vocals
Chris Tanaka - guitars, guitar synthesizer, keyboards, vocals
Pernu - bass
Bob Nellis - drums


Background
One of the first signings to new hard rock label Front Row Seat Media is the L.A based outfit Tower. The new label, has been created by well known L.A identity Steve Brownlee, previously with M&K Entertainment, and more recently, the shortlived Planet Enigma Records, alongside AOR legend Paul Sabu. The M&K connection has been retained with Tower, as lead singer Jerry Gabriel was previously associated with Joshua Perahia's 'Something To Say' album from 2001, released by M&K. Tower's music has been compared to Queensryche and Whitesnake, though personally, I feel they have a lot more in common with todays crop of modern metal bands. The eighties era from which the two aforementioned outfits originated is a far cry from the material on 'Turn The Page'. The album has a darker edge and tone to it, not withstanding the slower tempo which affects many of the tunes unfortunately. The production has a flatter and earthy sounding quality (particularly the guitars, which should literally zing.. but they don't). It doesn't have the vibe or punch to make it stand out from the rest of the bunch, and therein, lies the problem..

The Songs
The choice of opening song 'I'd Give You My Life' is an uninspired decision. Personally, I would have chosen something else. Also struggling to gain any form of momentum is 'Say A Prayer', the plodding arrangement given some life on a chorus, despite it being rather ordinary. The acoustic guitar solo sounds as if it's been recorded in a closet! A standout is the ballad 'Rain', quite compassionate musically, and sung with Jerry's enviable vocal power. 'I Wanna Know Why' has the flanger effects on overdrive, 'My Heartache Ways' is simply too boring , 'Can't You See' is much better, a throwback to that early nineties funk infused rock made popular by the likes of Extreme and bands of that ilk. Following in the same vein is 'Doesn't Really Matter', though more of a rock tune the arrangement is hardly engaging, the chorus in particular .. ineffective.

In Summary
Some qualities which stand out are the roughness of Gabriel's voice, vocal harmonies, and musical ideas. For the most part, there's little dynamicism to make this material stand out among the competition. It sounds as if this album got caught up in Groundhog Day circa 1993, as many similar albums sounding like this came from that (unfortunate and ultimately forgettable) timeframe when grunge was peaking. Perhaps a rethink regarding choice of material and direction is in order, as I'm certain the talent these guys collectively have, is worth applying to something more musically dynamic.

Track Listing:
01 I'd Give You My Life
02 Say A Prayer
03 Love Is Not A Sin
04 Rain
05 Take It Or Leave It
06 I Wanna Know Why
07 My Heartache Ways
08 Ain't It Sacred
09 Can't You See
10 Doesn't Really Matter

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