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Articles Home » 1994 Articles » Suntower - 1994 Suntower
 
Suntower - 1994 Suntower



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ARTIST: Suntower
ALBUM: Suntower
LABEL: Stepping Stone Records
SERIAL: AL 005910-02
YEAR: 1994

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Michael Powers - lead vocals, keyboards * Emit Sweet - electric guitar, backing vocals * Kenny Angelo - bass, backing vocals * Mike Groove - acoustic guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 So Far * 02 Winds Of Change * 03 The Game * 04 Next Year * 05 Decide * 06 Thrown Away * 07 This Song * 08 First Family * 09 Remember * 10 Before My Eyes


Background
Suntower were a Massachusetts based band that released a one-off album in 1994. They make good use of electric and acoustic sound elements. I do remember this being reviewed in AOR Classics #7, and again, I feel the review is a bit off the mark. In it, Barrie Kirtley described it as being a late 70's offshoot, which it isn't. Yes, you can certainly hear some aspects such as Boston in the acoustic guitar department, or perhaps REO Speedwagon (or more to the point, Kevin Cronin in the vocals), but that's about it. The dominant force on the album is lead guitarist (and producer) Emit Sweet, who provides the guitar overrule at nearly every maneuverable turn on this album. The rhythm section doesn't include a drummer, so one assumes a drum machine has been put to work, which detracts from the overall quality.


The Songs
It doesn't take long for Emit Sweet to lead from the front, with the opener 'So Far' filled to the brim with exciting rhythm guitar parts and fills. From here, one can hear the vocal of Michael Powers hitting the same zone as Tracy White, the lead singer with New Jersey faves Shotgun Symphony and Intruder. If you're familiar with Tracy's voice, then you'll know where I'm coming from. Take a listen to 'Winds Of Change' as an example. 'The Game' is a good hybrid tune featuring strengths with acoustic and electric guitars, which is something this band obviously excel at. 'Next Year' has a slower tempo, though the delivery still has a tough guitar edge to it. The riffs are flying off the handle with 'Decide', lots of guitar action here.

Into the back-end of the album now. 'Thrown Away' features more acoustic and electric guitar interplay. Not quite Boston, as you don't hear any twin guitar lines happening. 'This Song' could be comparable to 90's era REO Speedwagon, though the cheesy keyboard lines don't help matters. Much better is the flowing 'First Family', which definitely has a 70's touch to it, perhaps even a smidgen of Christian rock too. One of the best tracks here is 'Remember', which to my ears is super pomp rock. If Suntower had released an album's worth of material based on the sound of this one track - they would have an absolute winner on their hands. And finally, just to remind everyone what they are all about, Emit Sweet delivers some more guitar histrionics on the closer 'Before My Eyes'. Yes, these boys know how to rock.


In Summary
True, there are some useful moments on this album. Due to the timing of the release, and the middling production (and yes, that drum machine), there will be things that offset the good things which have been mentioned above. If you can pick this up relatively cheaply (good luck there!), then I suggest you do. It does have rarity value, but probably not priority value.


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Comments
#1 | Eric on August 22 2017 11:12:38
There were quite a few AOR Classics reviews that didn't quite live up to expectations and agree, this was one of them. Not trashing the mag though, great stuff!
#2 | super80boy on December 03 2017 19:19:30
It's a pretty cool obscure album, however after the first half, the songs start to sound the same in the harmonies and rhythms - there's a lack of diversity. The guitar work is really great and comes through in dominant fashion.
 
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