Cornerstone® is an Austrian rock band formed in 1998 in Moedling, Lower Austria. “Somewhere In America” is their 2nd international album which first pressing sold out within three weeks.
The band has gone through several phases, but its strongest success came 2008, when they signed a record deal with US-label ATOM Records and released their debut ‘Head Over Heels’ in the same year, touring UK an Europe.
Fronted by Patricia Hillinger, Cornerstone® style towards to the light end of the melodic rock spectre, with a slick sound featuring some traces of AOR and commercial Rock&Pop.
The album is full of rock n roll songs obviously influenced by American and UK mainstream rock bands like The Pretenders, The Babys, modern Bon Jovi and why not, Roxette.
Hillinger’s voice takes an important role on the band. His timbre is deep and soulful with a rockin’ feel. Mike Pawlowitch is a steady and rhythmic drummer, with a great bass player next to him in Michale Wachelhofer, the ingredients are there to make it rock big time. Steve Wachelhofer finalizes everything with his effective riffs and solos on the guitar.
The album opens with the cheerful “Stay”, an OK song obviously intended for modern radio. I don’t like it much, in fact, in my humble opinion, it’s the weakest track of the CD.
On the next track “Rise and Shine” things get much, much better. This is
a late ’80s American orientated upbeat number with large elements of likeability factor and some AOR touches.
“Breathing For You” brings the tempo down a bit, but still packs a lot of effectiveness, featuring a delicious vocal presence and nice melodies.
“Right or Wrong” is a wistful piano heavy ballad with plenty of sensitivity, neatly delivered and musically very well arranged. Definitely with a hit potential that could’ve been on an 80’s Soundtrack album.
“Like a Stranger” is next and brings the tempo back to rocking proportions. There’s a good riff and the chorus is very AOR-ish.
“Follow You, Follow Me” desires some more venom, hooks and progression to lift it out of the album filler section of the album.
‘Being Unaware’ is introduced by a flangy guitar assuming a Rock&Pop direction, whilst “Oblivious” has a more American contemporary style.
“High And Low” rocks it up, as far as this release goes anyway, and does in all honesty, featuring a good melodic choral hook.
They end the album with “Strut”, a nice melodic midtempo song that reminds Jamie Kyle, again with a good and interesting vocal performance.
Cornerstone® is good band with an interesting crossover sound. They got one foot in the melodic rock territory, balanced with a commercial Rock&pop style that doesn’t feels prefabricated at all.
“Somewhere In America” features good and sometimes catchy tunes, very well played and professionally recorded & produced.
At times I would asked for some ‘extra’ fire and harder guitars, as I am sure they’re capable to deliver a fine and strong melodic hard rock album, but this is the style they’ve chosen, and surely will work well on wider audiences.
If you’re new to the band, but have an appreciation for melodic rock and an open mind to more light, poppier AOR sounds, Cornerstone® should prove a very pleasant surprise.
“Somewhere In America” is a good and interesting female fronted rock album that worth to check out.
2. Rise and Shine
3. Breathing For You
4. Right or Wrong
5. Like a Stranger
6. Follow You, Follow Me
7. Being Unaware
9. High and Low
Patricia Hillinger – vocals, guitars
Michael Wachelhofer – bass, keyboards, vocals
Steve Wachelhofer – guitars, vocals
Mike Pawlowitsch – drums, percussion
CORNERSTONE – Somewhere In America (2011)
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