You can name it mellow, you can name it sweet, you can name it calm, you can name it nice, you can name it smooth, you can name it affectionate, you can name it kind, you can name it friendly, you can name it cheerful, you can name it good, you can name it smiling, you can name it jolly, you can name it joyful, you can name it sugary, you can name it cute, you can name it soft, you can name it melodious, you can name it tuneful, you can name it… you can name it… you can name it Terra Nova’s Escape.
As almost every single band/artist that flirted with AOR/Melodic Rock in the ‘distorted’ mid-to-late-90’s period, Terra Nova are not a new band and Escape isn’t their debut album. The Hendrix Bros (do not ask me ’bout any possible connection with THE ONE AND ONLY, dunno) seem to be in this tortured business for nearly a decade now, with a set of releases – you guessed right – basically applicable (and ‘famed’ enough) in the land of the rising sun. I had the chance to hear the 1996 Living It Up debut some years ago and I must confess there was ‘something’ in it. Hence, there was enough will to see what Fred Hendrix (ex-Nine Lives) was up to in 2005.
It’s not a difficult guess, reading the introductory paragraph. Hey, there are good compositions in this album, really interesting melodies/hooks and enough range spanning from semi-Pop ballads to straightforward FM Rock, appropriate e.g. for driving. Still, I think there’s failure in two major sectors: spirit and production. The sound output is so flat and ‘pale’ that you can hardly keep your ears open to ‘conceive’ a nice song, plus the songwriting mode results in cuts that are too naive and predictable. The result is an album so simple and un-spirited that ends up being swallowed like a spoonful of vanilla cream. This band sounds at times like Stryper era In God We Trust (not the production, beware!) and I felt in the end that they could have made something sweet even out of a possible South Of Heaven cover.
Hey dude, put the shovel to rest… It seems that Frontiers tends to include ANY band involved with AOR/Melodic Rock, so – due to the basic statistics principles – some of them will not be their top ‘aces’. If you’re a diehard for everything this label puts out, Escape will suit you fine (remember, it’s good music). For everyone else in the FM Rock vein, you better run to something else.
01-Long Live Rock’N’Roll
03-Hold The Line
06-War On War
07-You Are The One
09-Lonely Is The Night
10-Back In The Eighties
11-Part Of The Game
Fred Hendrix – lead vocals
Ron Hendrix – keyboards, backing vocals
Gesuino Derosas – guitar, backing vocals
Hans Eijkenaar – drums (guest)
Eric Coenen – bass (guest)
Terra Nova – Escape (2005)
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