Tokyo Motor Fist
2017 release from Frontiers Records srl.
Ted Poley – Vocals. Steve Brown – Guitar, backing vocals, percussions, keyboards. Greg Smith – Bass. Chuck Burgi – Drums.
Artist location: USA.
5 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- Pickin’ Up The Pieces.
- Love Me Insane.
- Black And Blue.
- You’re My Revolution.
- Don’t Let Me Go.
- Put Me To Shame.
- Done To Me.
- Get You Off My Mind.
- Fallin’ Apart.
One of the first records of the year that I was very anxiously awaiting finally released today,
and it was all that I hope it would be.
I am talking, of course, about the newest supergroup to come out of the Frontiers camp, Tokyo Motor Fist, featuring Ted Poley (Danger Danger), Steve Brown (Trixter), Greg Smith (Rainbow, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper) and Chuck Burgi (Rainbow, Joe Lynn Turner, Billy Joel, Blue Oyster Cult)
Well I love it! Which comes as absolutly no surprise to myself or likely anyone who knows me or has followed my site for any amount of time as I have always been outspoken about my love for Poley’s work.
When I first heard about this venture I was ecstatic. Coming right off the tails of Poley’s sensational solo album, ‘Beyond The Fade‘ (which took my number four spot for album of the year in 2016 with the video for ‘Higher‘ taking the number two spot for best music video of 2016. See my review of the album here), he was already following it up with a new effort. This time though it was going to be a supergroup. First, I LOVE Danger Danger, always have. Secondly I am a huge fan of Trixter and lastly Smith and Burgi are legendary musicians who have played with some of the best there is and are two highly experienced and incredible artists, enough said. So this line-up thrilled me to no end and I very eagerly awaited the first taste of music from the album.
Well the first taste I got just whetted my appetite even more as it was everything that I had hoped it would be. As were the next three tracks that released early.
Just teasing us while making us wait for the release.
And after what seemed like an eternity I finally received my copy and I popped it in and sat back, prepared to be blown away.
And indeed I was.
But we will get to the music in a second.
Now I am a longtime fan of Trixter but out of all the shows I have attended over the years they are one band I have never had the privilege of seeing live and until last year, when I saw Danger Danger in concert and Steve Brown stood in for Rob Marcello who couldn’t make it from overseas (see my concert review here), I never fully appreciated Brown’s talents on the guitar. But, as he proved in that show, he is one hell of a guitar player and seeing him play for D2 like that, with only a day’s notice no less, he succeeded in greatly impressing me and garnered my full respect, and my appreciation for his talent, his playing and his passion grew considerably.
Well this record showcases this man’s talent. Not only does he provide multiple parts for the album, including backing vocals for Ted, keyboards, percussions and some insanely great guitar playing, but he also wrote this entire album himself.
And did one hell of a job!
Talk about impressive!
Poley is, as usual, in top form here vocally. There is just something about this guy’s voice that I absolutely love. A good bit of it is nostaligia for me that takes me back to when I first heard those first D2 records and that time in my life, and a great deal more of him just having a damn awesome voice. Whatever the case, I love it, always have, and, while perhaps he can’t reach quite as high as he once could, he has seemingly lost exactly nothing in the vocal department otherwise since those first days of belting out stuff like ‘Bang Bang‘ for the first time. And, I say it everytime I talk about him, but this guy’s passion and energy for music is absolutely infectious, as anyone who has been blessed to see him live can atest to. A simply amazing singer that I could listen to all day long, and a genuinely nice guy.
Greg Smith and Chuck Burgi are exactly what you would expect from two such legends. Perfection on every level and holding down the rythm section in grand fashion and rounding out what is indeed a supergroup. There is no other name for a band containing four such amazing artists.
So the music?
Well, take a bit of Danger Danger, a bit of Trixter and no small dose of Def Leppard (a band that Brown toured with during 2014 and 2015 when Vivan Campell was forced to take some time off due to health issues) and what you get is Tokyo Motor Fist.
A total throwback to the classics sounding record, which is exactly the style that I love, this is one that should appeal to most every melodic rock lover.
In other words, awesome freaking music!
The opening track, ‘Pickin’ Up The Pieces‘, just had a new music video that released today (click on the link near the top of the page to see the video) and is a fantastic rocker that gets things started off on the right foot with it’s high energy.
‘Love Me Insane‘ is one of the tracks that released early and it is still one of my favorites. Another excellent high energy rocker that, in my opinion, amps things up another notch.
‘Shameless‘ continues on with the same rocking style of the first two tracks and delivers a rather D2 sounding song that is another standout that leads into ‘Love‘. This very Def Leppard heavy ballad is, according to Ted, his favorite track of the album and it is a terrific song and features an excellent vocal delivery from Poley.
‘Black And Blue‘ picks the pace back up with a fantastic upbeat track that is a bit more reminiscent of some of Ted’s solo work and Trixter and it takes us into ‘You’re My Revolution‘, a fast paced rocker with some great guitar work from Brown.
‘Don’t Let Me Go‘ is a mid-tempo ballad that features another terrific delivery from Ted, the man really shines on these ballads in my opinion.
I knew the minute I heard ‘Put Me To Shame‘ prior to the album releasing that it was going to be the track to beat for me on this album and, while others come close, this still remains my absolute favorite track. If ever there was a song on this album that has that 80’s feel to it, this is it to a T. A hard rocking, kick ass song with a killer chorus, an incredible delivery from Poley and some phenomenal work from Brown with an excellent job by Smith and Burgi. This track is just straight up bad ass, no two ways about it. Quite honestly, I would probably have bought this album for this track alone.
‘Done To Me‘ is another track that sees the marriage in sound of D2, Trixter and Def Leppard. A smashing rocker with a driving beat.
‘Get You Off My Mind‘ takes things down a few notches with an excellent, more mid-tempo track. Another of my favorites and another of Poley’s standout vocal deliveries.
The record ends with another standout track in ‘Fallin’ Apart‘, a upbeat beauty of a song with a fantastic melody that is a terrific closing note for the album.
There is absolutely nothing about this album that I can find to complain about. I just love it. In fact it tops Poley’s last solo album for me. This album is heavier and more 80’s influenced then ‘Beyond The Fade‘, which I adored. This may just be the best album he has done since ‘Screw It‘, which is one of my favorite albums of all time.
Everyone involved here outdid themselves, with an extra nod to Steve Brown who has given us what I would have to say is his best material to date, no small feat.
If you are a fan of Danger Danger, Trixter, Def Leppard, any of the artists involved or just some absolutely fantastic melodic rock with a very heavy throwback to the 1980s, then you owe it to yourself to check this one out. Honestly I can’t see how anyone could be disappointed by it.
Highest of recommendations.
‘Love Me Insane’.
‘Black And Blue’.
‘Put Me To Shame’.
‘Done To Me’.
‘Get You Off My Mind’.