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Surrender (USA) - 1991 Surrender

ARTIST: Surrender (US)
ALBUM: Surrender
LABEL: Private
YEAR: 1991
CD REISSUE: 2005, Better Late Than Never


LINEUP: Frank Sicoli - vocals * Mick Carey - guitars, bass * Kenneth Hamberg - drums, synthesizers

TRACK LISTING: 01 Never * 02 Claire * 03 Sunrize Goodbye * 04 Nikki * 05 Feel the Burn * 06 Last Time I Say Goodbye * 07 One Tough City * 08 Later * 09 Thought You Should Know

Described as the rarest AOR/melodic rock indie CD on the planet.. bar none! Some of you may have seen outrageous prices offered for this 9 track indie, and whether the quality lives up to the hype afforded this album, well.. I'll let you be the judge. Personally, I quite like it, but I wouldn't go out of my way to secure a copy of it at those prices. Surrender (the American version), first came to my attention around about 1997, thanks to the Silk And Steel magazine pairing of Kai Brockschmidt and Richie Galas. They were none the wiser as to the origins of this band. Indeed, some thought this lot actually emanated from Sydney Australia, but I think cold water has since been poured on that theory. There is another American band of the same name, but those guys are more visible, they're from New York and have their own website, and they're not related to these guys. So, we have a mystery on our hands.. Who the hell are these guys? OK, I give up.. I surrender.. I have no idea, nor does it seem, the average AOR expert with a modicum of knowledge on the subject (refer the thread on the Heavy Harmonies website). The only giveaway is the fact that this album was produced by one Mike Carey. Even a websearch on his name has drawn a blank. So, we've crawled the 'Boulevard of Hide and Seek' and are still none the wiser.

The Songs
How about those songs? For those of you into multi-tracked vocals a la Trevor Rabin, Queen et al, you'll get an overdose with this lot. Check out the track 'Nikki'. In fact, the best reference point here would be a band like Eight Seconds, very hi-tech sounding it is. The opening track 'Never' is similar, with vocal parts flying all over the place, but overall, the commercial AOR sound is just what the doctor ordered! Another highlight is the essential 'Last Time I Say Goodbye', containing a chorus that just won't go away. On the other hand 'Claire', despite it's near Trevor Rabin styled arrangement just doesn't work for me, and along with 'Feel The Burn', I just don't don't get that incinerated feeling.

In Summary
For nine tracks, the quality of the production for an indie is quite something. On the other hand, the actual quality of the material is neither outstandingly good nor outstandingly bad. I actually believe this album has suffered a case of the urban myth.. that is being declared an absolute 'must have' just because of its scarcity. If you believe that, then you're likely to believe anything. In summary, is the hype worth the price of this CD? In short, a very definite no.

Footnote: this album has been re-released by the band with a slightly different cover. So now you shouldn't have to pay expensive prices for it.

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#1 | Jez on June 14 2008 00:04:25
Not the straightforward AOR sound I was expecting. This is a rock album with many Influences running through it's veins. Ok, tracks like 'Never' & 'Claire' are pretty Fabulous AOR tracks with a definate Pomp edge to the arrangements. In complete comparison crops up 'Nikki' with it's harmonies, guitar lines/solo & especially the chorus which sounds completely like prime time It Bites, I kid you not-fanbloodytastic.
The It Bites influence also crops up on others tracks, especially in the arrangements and guitar/keys parts - notably 'Sunrise Goodbye','Feel The Burn', 'One Tough City' & 'Thought You Should Know'. I can't fault any of the tracks on this album, as they dare to be a little different and don't follow the usual formula as seen on a lot of AOR releases. A complete & total surprise this one and a very, very pleasant one at that.
#2 | sabace on March 10 2010 13:38:35
I agree with the review, very good, but hardly essential!
#3 | trillion1999 on October 24 2011 14:36:58
I listened to this over at Youtube.I liked it so much that I see it as a huge mistake not picking it up.The reissue of course.It was on sale in a now defunct store.One of those everything must go shop closes down-sales.Sigh!
#4 | super80boy on January 03 2014 16:21:09
Soaring vocal treatments and glistening MHR/AOR melodies are in full effect. This trio was obviously talented. The reissued CD (via ZENtunes) has been remastered to louder, crisper volume levels. The first four songs are full on out of the gate scorchers. 'Thought You Should Know', which ends the original demo CD album is quite good as well. The three reissue bonus tracks are mid-tempo in nature with 'Carrie' being the better of the three.

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