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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Adrenalin - 1984 American Heart
Adrenalin - 1984 American Heart

ARTIST: Adrenalin (USA)
ALBUM: American Heart
LABEL: Rocshire
YEAR: 1984


LINEUP: Marc Gilbert - vocals * Flash - guitars * Michael Romeo - guitars * Jimmy Romeo - sax * Marc Pastoria - keyboards * Bruce Schafer - bass * Brian Pastoria - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Northern Shores * 02 Faraway Eyes * 03 Gimme Your Heart * 04 Baby I'm Back * 05 The Kids Gotta Will To Live * 06 Photograph * 07 The Pressure's On * 08 Michael * 09 Freedom Road


Adrenalin's first album was an E.P. which was good enough for MCA to sign them up and distribute their first real album 'American Heart', which was released originally under Rocshire Records (same label initially as Alcatrazz). The album was produced by Vini Poncia, who of course had a lot to do with Kiss, especially in the 'Dynasty' and 'Unmasked' period. Details on Adrenalin's origins and early history are almost non existent. What is known is that the album never took off, despite it's obvious quality, Adrenalin was lost in a sea of contenders.

The Songs
The first comparison (and last?) is that the basic sound adheres to is early 80's Survivior. The tone is very much in the vein of 'Eye Of The Tiger', a glut of AOR anthems, with a midwest, American heartland feel. Gilbert's vocals are steeped in the Steve Perry tradition, not surprising considering his prominence at the time. In that context Adrenalin could be described as Survivor vs Journey. Regardless they owned a unique sound, which stood them out from the pack. There is an abundance of sax from Romeo, which permeates most tracks, giving them an added edge. It's not the rock and roll sax which The Beaver Brown Band utilised, more low key. Flash and Michael Romeo are an effective duo on guitar. There's some standout riffs cutting through 'The Pressure's On' and a nice little bit of boogie on the closer 'Freedom Road', a delicious hard rock romp. The keyboards are above average and share equal billing with the other players. The melancholy synths of 'Michael' are depressing enough to put lines on your face. The only weak track is 'The Kid's Got A Will To Live', with a corny riff that warrants the fast forward button. That aside, almost perfect AOR and 'The Pressure's On' is vintage enough to earn a place in my AOR hall of fame.

In Summary
Following on from their 1986 effort 'Road Of The Gypsy', Adrenalin splintered, despite the inclusion of the title track on the 'Iron Eagle' soundtrack. MCA soon dropped the boys and Gilbert left to pursue a solo career, quickly followed by Flash. In a strange twist ex Grand Funk Railroad mainman Mark Farner took over vocal duties, the band renamed itself to Mark Farner and Adrenalin. Thankfully this didn't last and Joey Hammody took Farner's spot. The band changed their name to DC Drive and released an album in 1992. According to a bio most of the band still live in Detroit, 'one of them owning a recording studio' it says here. 'American Heart' is still sought by collectors but is readily available in used bins throughout the US. Pick it up, as it's equal to Survivor and co and is another lost 80's classic.

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#1 | richardb on November 29 2008 21:25:57
Their debut mini album showed promise, but for me this is the real deal. It still gets regular airplay in my household. Classic mid west AOR! However I'm not sure the topless band photo shot on the insert was a good idea guys - some
of them needed to spend more time at the gym - LOL!

Richard B

Thumbs Up
#2 | Eric on February 27 2009 21:14:51
You know Alun and Richard, I can still get copies of that mini-LP debut here in local record shops (yes, we still have some up here) for 3-4 dollars? Incredible for an indie that wasn't half bad. I wonder how many copies they pressed?
#3 | dangerzone on February 27 2009 22:37:31
That's where I found the record Eric, in local record store back in 98 I think. There were always copies of it there, which is why I made the used bins comment.
#4 | gdazegod on January 05 2013 07:41:24
Much of the stuff on here is repeated on 'Road Of The Gypsy', which I will be reviewing shortly.
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