Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wheels Of Fire-Up For Anything

Avenue Of Allies

Avenue Of Allies is quite a bit like Frontiers Records in the fact that up front you know what your in for. It's likely to be either melodic rock or AOR. In the case of Wheels Of Fire (Who I do have to wonder about-did they name themselves after the Cream 1968 double album?) the answer falls somewhere in between of the two genres. Sure, this Italian band (Who are fronted by Davide "Dave Rox" Barbiere and feature the skills of guitar player Stefano Zen) do play around some with 80's hard rock, but mostly this is melodic rock with a surprisingly effective self-production job (It probably helped that the band brought in Roberto Priori to mix and master the LP. Roberto worked with one of my favorite bands, Danger Zone, so he gets high marks already!) that comes off sounding slick and polished. As the band already got high marks with the melodic rock crowd (Thanks to their debut-album "Hollywood Rocks") this release should be a easy slam dunk. With Andrea Vergori's classy keyboards & piano bringing a bit of elegance to the party (The band is rounded out by Marcello Suzzani on bass and Fabrizio Uccellini on drums) "Up For Anything"  brings about the ghosts of 80's rock and, dare one say, the lighter end of the hair metal scene. Thankfully Wheels Of Fire stay far away from the hairspray and instead offer up choice moments of harder edge guitar solos at just the right moments. Not that anyone would ever confuse this Italian band for a heavy metal outfit as this is contemporary rock meant for late night memories with that "special lady". Even so, the softer side of me took over while listening to "Up For Anything" and, despite finding myself walking the single path once more in life, the 12-track album hit just the right spots to make me want to give it one more spin.

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