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Alpha - 1987 Alpha



ARTIST: Alpha
ALBUM: Alpha
LABEL: JSQ
SERIAL: -
YEAR: 1987

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Jon Quinn - vocals, bass, keyboards * Brad Sandlin - guitars * Randy Jason - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Intro * 02 Throwin' It All Away * 03 Run For Your Life * 04 To The North * 05 In Sync * 06 Let The Music * 07 Let It Go


Background
Alpha are an American band, from Rhode Island it would seem, and despite taking on an AOR appearance, they are more progressive musically. As a three-piece, it's hard to ignore comparisons to their erstwhile compatriots from across the border in Rush and Triumph, or even an outfit like Zebra. Everytime I see photos of this band live.. boy I gotta say.. 'they sure do look the part!' Brad Sandlin has this thing about Jackson Flying V's, a la the late Randy Rhoads.. very flashy looking indeed. The album first appeared in 1987, and though it was only a 7-track (6 if you exclude the intro), it was enough to raise eyebrows, though their existence wasn't made known to the general populous many years later. The band though first came about around 1985, they were originally called Aura, and one of their earlier incarnations included then good school friend acquaintance on guitar Chris Impellitteri. Woah!


The Songs
Let's cast our ears to the material. Because it is an indie, bands such as Link or Flyweil all come into consideration as similar sounding, though in all honesty, Alpha cast the net far and wide in terms of musical influences. Any other AOR fan listening to this will undoubtedly hear other influences apart from whats written here. The intro is a meandering/weaving affair with keys and tempered guitars. It's followed soon after by the AOR-tastic 'Throwin' It All Away'. This one has got everything really.. big choruses, dual lead vocal, and an equal amount of excitable and energetic keyboard and guitar. I quite liked the parpy 'Run For Your Life', it has a heavier pompy sound bordering on pedestrian, but somehow the guys get away with it. 'To The North' is a flashback to those days where Rush ruled the rock airwaves circa 1981-82. If Geddy Lee inspired techno-rock is your thing, then listen to this track. Probably the pick of the bunch for me is the track 'In Sync' which reminded me of a heavier Beau Coup for instance. 'Let The Music' is not far behind, the acoustic/electric interchange a great meeting place for some nice spiky clavinet keyboard solos to shine through. The closer 'Let It Go' is a nice way to finish up, restrained at the start and through the middle, but the ending is full of cascading keyboards a la Thrills before the dead-stop ending.


In Summary
Alpha just as recently as the year 2000, re-released this material under a new CD, combined with four newer tracks. Even a couple of years back, their material was available for download from the long-lost and heavily missed MP3.COM website. A good 'semi-obscure' band to get acquainted with, and if one of our good GDAZE writers comes true on his promise, then perhaps we might even get an interview with these guys..


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Tags: Alpha 
 
Comments
#1 | richardb on June 15 2008 14:46:15
A great indie AOR act that definitely 'punch above their weight'. Rather frustratingly I only have a vinyl copy and have been unable to track down the CD.

Richard B
#2 | rostoned on March 15 2015 19:05:45
The band members themselves posted a rare old video interview with the band on YT! even more amazingly on their YT channel you can also find also 2 live in concert tracks filmed in 1986, from the debut album. WOW clap

YouTube Video:
 
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