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Articles Home » 2016 Articles » Heartbanger - 2016 Through The Night
Heartbanger - 2016 Through The Night

ARTIST: Heartbanger
ALBUM: Through The Night
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 2016
SPONSOR: Xavi Mendez


LINEUP: Xavi Mendez - guitar * Alberto Fernandez - keyboards * Paco Munoz - drums * Luis Alvarez - bass (excluding tracks 2 & 6)

Guests:Tony Mills - vocals (1 & 4) * Manu Esteve - vocals (2, 6 & 8) * Gabrielle De Val - vocals (3) * Angel Rubin - vocals (7) * Ricard Flores - bass (2) * Marc Llado - bass (6)

TRACK LISTING: 01 Intro * 02 The Last Chance Night * 03 You Came On Time * 04 Through The Dark * 05 Always Remembered * 06 The Only Thing * 07 Tierras De Libertad * 08 In Heaven * 09 Night Drive (Bonus Track)


WEBLINKS: heartbanger FB Page

An unusual band project name if I've ever heard. Heartbanger sounds like an advertisement for a sausage company promoting healthy meat eating products. But no, it's nothing of the sort. It's a Spanish project from a bloke called Xavi Mendez, who is based in Barcelona. Xavi provides the guitars as well as the songwriting. We haven't written articles here at GDM on Spanish projects for ages, so it's good to dive in once again. Xavi brings in many guests for this 9 track effort. Tony Mills (SHY, TNT), Gabrielle De Val (The Val), Manu Esteve (Hardreams), Alberto Fernandez (Tokio) are some of the names to stand out. According to Xavi's bio, the material on 'Through The Night' touches on classic 80s AOR with a great presence of keyboards, great vocal harmonies and catchy choruses. That might be too much to ask, and some of you might be asking: 'what's the catch'?

The Songs
Yes, there is a catch. Overall, I'm finding the tracks a bit weak, and the whole thing just lacks for something. Surging past the brief opener 'Intro', we drop into 'The Last Chance Night' which features Manu Esteve on vocals. The song was a mix of ideas colliding but not colluding. Gabrielle De Val sings the lead on 'You Came On Time', but to be honest, the mix didn't do her vocals any justice, sounding very murky. Much better was Mills lead on 'Through The Dark', though his vocal track had too much reverb which didn't help, but overall was better than the previous track. 'Always Remembered' is an instrumental, and I tend to ignore these sorts of songs when it comes to a mostly full band project with singers involved. 'The Only Thing' had some useful passages, but again the let-down was the vocal mix. 'Tieras De La Libertad' move into harder territory, indicating that Xavi can foot it in the HM arena when required. 'In Heaven' is the third track to feature Manu Esteve, and would be the pick of his three contributions. The last track 'Night Drive' is also an instrumental, some soaring guitar spots but the shimmering west-coast sounding keyboards in the background bordered on annoying.

In Summary
Overall, this didn't do a lot for me to be honest. It was all a bit of a mish-mash, and ended being nothing like the 80's bands mentioned in the bio. Xavi will need to go back to the drawing board and offer up something more cohesive, or perhaps even change genres, because AOR and melodic rock is not the place to be thinking about making a career.

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