Cranston - 'II'
(Rock Company Records)
For the uninitiated Cranston is the collaboration between hardworking musician Phil Vincent and cult AOR hero Paul Sabu, ‘II’ is the second album resulting from their musical union. If you’re one of those lucky enough to have enjoyed the debut Cranston album you’re going to love this, it surpasses the debut in many ways and shows just how well these musicians compliment each other. I was very excited about hearing this album following the impact the debut had on me, I’ve written a lot of reviews about bands and projects featuring Vincent and I can easily say that this is one of the best if not the best album involving Vincent that I’ve heard.
Cranston is stadium rock, from the AC/DC inspired guitar riffs to the catchy soaring choruses it screams of the eighties melodic hard rock sound that dominated the airwaves back in the day! The album is instantly memorable full of bright, punchy, exciting, eighties influenced rock n roll. It’s extremely commercial, so much so that if I was introducing Vincent to a fellow music fan this is the album I’d use as a taster.
Vincent’s vocals are superb as always, but it’s the guitar work that really shook me, big beefy guitar licks full of hooks that are extremely infectious. There is a rich full production and the songs are presented in a way that makes them sound huge and meant to performed in stadiums.
Paul Sabu’s fingerprints are all over this album, in the way the songs sound and come across and in the production too. If you’re familiar with both artists you can hear their individual musical fingerprints in these songs and how they’ve blended together. Obviously, Vincent is very prolific and writes a lot of music but Cranston definitely has its own clear and individual identity.
There is lots of energy in these songs, with strong punchy choruses that I found really compelling and invigorating. ‘I Wish I Had More Time’ is one of the many highlights on the album with its powerful chorus and infectious guitar licks and there are some killer guitar riffs on the likes of ‘Always on The Run’ and ‘Tables Turning’.
Cranston present us with a strong collection of songs with no dead weight amongst these eleven tracks, it’s catchy and exciting and a must for melodic hard rock fans yearning for some stadium sized rock!
Essential Track - 'I Wish I Had More Time'
Review by Woody
- Always On The Run
- What's It Gonna Take
- Wrong Side Of Town
- Soul Crusher
- Tables Turning
- I Wish I Had More Time
- One Track Mind
- Throwin' Down
- Sad Truth
- Take Me
- Dead and Gone