Friday, February 07, 2014

EZ Livin'

LZ Records/ Sony

EZ Livin', a phrase that I'm not in the least bit familiar with(!), is a German-American hard rock outfit featuring guitarist Hans Ziller (Bonfire) and vocalist David Reece (Gypsy Rose, Malice, ex-Sircle of Silence, ex-Accept, ex-Power, World, ex-Stream, ex-Sacred Child, ex-Bangalore Choir, ex-Dare Force, ex-Reece) within it's ranks. First founded in 1991, with Peter Henrics then fronting the group, EZ Livin' made their debut that same year with "After The Fire". It's only now that Hans Ziller has resurrected the EZ Livin' name with the aforementioned Reece taking over the mic duties and Ziller's Bonfire band-mate Harry Reischmann handling drums. Along with Ronnie Parkes (Tango Down and Seven Witches) on bass guitar, Paul Morris (Rainbow) on keyboards, piano & organ and guest guitarist Chris Lyne (Mother Road and ex Soul Doctor) the group attempts to navigate through the treacherous waters that make up the modern melodic hard rock scene. After opening up strong though with "That's How He Rocks" this hard rock vessel quirky hits rough patches and thanks to clunkers like "Loaded Gun" and "White Lighting" it starts taking on a tremendous amount of water! When the sticky ballad "Let's Fly Away" attaches itself to the ship's hull it's all but over making you wonder how it is that a release like this, which features one-time serious rock guitarist Hans Ziller (try listening to Cacumen's first two releases sometime and you'll hear what I'm talking about) and a former Accept vocalist for crying out loud, can sound this uninspired? A decent cover of "Easy Living" notwithstanding, the band tries to get back on track with "The Damage Is Done", but by this point the aptly-titled "Too Late" comes along and this ship has already struck ground and there's no turning back! Even closing strong with the near-metal "Into The Night" isn't enough to save what is at-best a terribly mediocre affair. With far too much lightweight material ("Loaded Gun" tries it's hands at hair metal/melodic hard rock and does nothing but make you cringe out of embarrassment for what are some top-notch players in the game) and the obligatory ballad taking away from the appeal of the two book-end rockers this was one album that I had high hopes for but was dreadfully let-down. Given the previous time-frame between releases (1991-2014) maybe it's better off if this band waits another twenty plus years before the next EZ Livin' album!

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