Roth Brock Project
2016 release from Frontiers Music srl.
Terry Brock – Vocals. John Roth – Guitars, bass, keys, lead and background vocals. Scott Trammell – Drums and percussions.
Artist location: USA.
4.5 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- Young Gun.
- What’s It To Ya.
- Young Again.
- If That’s What It Takes.
- I Don’t Know Why.
- Distant Voices.
- We Are.
- My City.
- Never Givin’ Up.
- Reason To Believe.
Roth Brock Project is the collaboration of Giant bandmates Terry Brock (Strangeways, Giant, Slamer) and John Roth (Winger, Starship, Giant) along with drummer Scott Trammell and of course Frontiers Records is the label behind this one, who else!
I have been looking forward to this release since I first heard it was happening as I am a very big fan of both Terry Brock and John Roth and I am happy to say that I was not disappointed in it in the least.
I have been listening to it repeatedly since receiving the album and I have to say that it has just gotten better with each listen. I have always been a fan of Brock’s. From his work with Strangeways to his solo albums, he is a singer that always brings his A game and sounds fantastic on all he does. Well take one listen here and you can tell that he still has a hell of a great voice. He is able to harness a lot of emotion in his voice when he sings and can really make you feel what he is singing about, especially when it comes to ballads. Just take a listen to something like Strangeway’s ‘Goodnight L.A.‘, Brock’s ‘I Should’ve Known‘ or his very emotional delivery of ‘A Soldier Falls‘ (all three are some of my favorite songs he has ever performed) and you will see exactly what I mean. The man can just flat out sing and he still sounds amazing here on every single track. He is one singer that we most certainly do not hear enough from.
John Roth is an underrated guitarist in my opinion. His work with bands like Winger and Giant is proof that he knows his way around the guitar and just taking one listen to this record speaks volumes about the man’s abilities. We are given a constant onslaught of blazing guitars throughout the record in almost every track and Roth not only pulls double duty with playing both the guitar and bass here but also covers the keys and constantly shares lead vocal with Brock throughout. He is chock full of talent and it is evident throughout the album that this guy is a hell of an artist that deserves much more credit then he gets. He also has a terrific voice and his vocals sound absolutely great on the record as he sings both lead and back up. Anybody that can share vocals with the likes of the great Terry Brock and hold their own deserves a hell of a lot of respect, and John does that throughout the record.
Musically speaking this album is everything you would expect from a Terry Brock record. Falling somewhere between his solo albums and his album with Giant, 2010’s ‘Promise Land‘, the music pretty much fell right in line with my expectations. Superb vocals, obviously. Heavy, guitar driven songs and melodies that you can’t help but love. It is an excellent record that any fan of melodic rock should love.
That being said, I have read a few comments about this album sounding very generic within the melodic rock genre and while I understand their meaning I have to respectfully disagree. It is nothing new, it is not groundbreaking music. It doesn’t find the artists trying to filter off into different directions or to cross genres and in that sense some may find it generic.
What is it?
Well it is simply straight up, pure melodic rock at its absolute best and that suits me just fine. This is my kind of music, this is the genre that I love! This is what I listen to, what I review, so why would I want it to sound different? Melodic rock fans should rejoice at releases like this. This IS music. This IS melodic rock folks. Is this not why we all love this music to began with? Strong melodies, big vocals, loud guitars and hooks galore. This record has all of that and it delivers consistently throughout the entire record in spades. So to the naysayers all I can say is, I respect your opinions, we all have different tastes of course and that is totally fine, but I sure as hell don’t understand it.
This album rocks!
So on to the songs.
‘Young Gun‘ is the upbeat track that gets things started. You have likely all heard this track already as it was released as a music video prior to the albums release. If you haven’t heard it yet then click on the link near the top of the page to see the music video.
‘What’s It To Ya‘ is a full-on, groovy rocker. Awesome song with some great guitar work from Roth.
‘Young Again‘ slows things down just a very small bit and gives us a terrific track about facing the reality of ageing and looking back, thankful for your life but still yearning to be young again.
Another rocking number comes in at track four. ‘If That’s What It Takes’ tells a story of someone who has wronged their special lady, made mistakes but is willing to live up to those mistakes and will do whatever it takes to save their love. Great song with more fantastic guitar work.
‘I Don’t Know Why‘ is one of my favorites from the record. Kind of an upbeat version of a heartbreak ballad. A song about someone who gave a person their heart only to have it trampled on as the person left them with nothing but heartbreak. Great chorus. Excellent vocal from Brock.
‘Distant Voices‘ is the first “ballad” of the album. An outstanding, beautiful track about losing someone too soon. Fantastic lead vocals from both Terry and John. I love this one. Wonderful song. My favorite song of the record.
Things pick back up to rock status with track number seven, ‘We Are‘. It is a nice, rocking song with some awesome guitar work and it gets things cranking again as it leads us into ‘Fighter‘. Another full fledged rocker with another great dual lead vocal delivery from both of these incredible artists. It is, however, the first track that failed to really catch me right away. It is not a bad song by any means, but up until this point everything has been stellar and this song just didn’t quite live up to those first seven tracks in my opinion. Still, a good song, great guitars and excellent vocals.
‘My City‘ comes in at track number nine. Another almost mid-tempoed track. Another wonderful vocal delivery. Another of my favorites.
Track ten is the only real power ballad of the record. ‘Never Givin’ Up‘ is a mid-tempoed ballad that is simply fantastic. Everyone that reads my reviews knows that I am a sucker for a great ballad and, as I already mentioned earlier, Terry really shines on ballads. Well this one is no different. Excellent vocals from both guys. Wailing guitars from Roth. Great melody. Just an all around terrific song.
The record ends with the weakest song of the album in my opinion. Again, not a bad song in any sense of the word, it just doesn’t quite make it to the strength of the other songs when it reaches the chorus. Another upbeat track, ‘Reason To Believe‘ is pretty much the sole reason for the 4.5 star rating rather than the perfect 5 stars. Still, if this is as bad as it gets then that is hardly anything to complain about.
So bottom line, this record kicks ass. Brock, Roth and Trammell sound amazing together and they have put out one hell of a great record. Production is tight, smooth and polished and pretty much everything you have come to expect from the Frontiers name. Vocals from both of the talented singers are outstanding and their voices blend superbly. The guitars are scorching, loud and perfect and the drums provide an excellent rhythm section for the songs.
Melodic rock lovers take heed, this is an album for you. Fans of Brock, Roth and quite frankly rock ‘n’ roll in general, go get this record. A solid, home run of a record from two amazing guys that need no introduction whatsoever.
Very highly recommended.
‘What’s It To Ya’.
‘If That’s What It Takes’.
‘I Don’t Know Why’.
‘Never Givin’ Up’.