Houston!-Fast in Elegance
This was somewhat of a tricky release to pin due to Jekyll and Hyde like variance in styles presented here. There was a time where I thought pop like melodies had no place in hard rock, but now I know it can work if it's tied in using a method that isn't too sappy. Italy's Houston! were tough to read because they have tracks that come on like barnstormers and next they launch into a piano lead ballad like it's the most natural progression they could follow. I don't mean hair metal ballads so much as it is more a real pop sound and yes there is a difference. What I like about this album is how they blatantly do what they choose without regard of trends or fitting in. That I can respect and admire plus it shows a lot of confidence in what they are attempting to do. Now I don't think they succeed at everything they attempt though. Perhaps it's lack of experience, but I am not sure the hooks are often sharp enough to keep some of their songs going. The vocals help a lot, but they need some polish things up here and there to really sustain some momentum. This album didn't quite feel as complete as I was hoping it would be. Yet every single time I listened to this album there were moments where it was undeniably vibrant and maybe even fresh. Those moments were enough for me to hope that this band maintains their undeniable spirit and turns their attention towards elevating their music to the same level.