Track Listing
1. I've Got the Power
2. Freeway blues
3. She's no lover
4. California
5. Love killer
6. Light up the sky
7. Cold blooded
8. Fireball
9. Double dealer
10. Gone with the wind

AOR Heaven 2002

mydra2.jpg (16337 bytes)


More Releases by Mydra:
Mydra (1988)
Related Releases (sound):
Craaft - Second Honeymoon (1988)
Bonfire - Point Blank (1988)
Dalton - The Race is On (1987)


It laid in the vaults for twelve years, Mydra's second and final offering before their silent split in 1990. Now it has been resurrected in hopes of discovering an audience, even when the band's tender 1988 debut did not. Simply titled "II", like the first album, its another massive chunk of hard rock that oftentimes crosses the borders into buttery sweet AOR. For the few familiar with the scarce debut, now a highly sought after collector's item, they will be surprised to hear that the expressive vocals of ex-Rampage belter Andre have been swapped for singer Keith, who is similiar admittedly but a different beast when you get right down to the goodies. He holds his own in the grittier shriek areas but he doesn't command the smoothed over mid range quite like his predecessor. Not the greatest of frontmen, but his efforts at commanding the proceedings with the fluid keys and top heavy guitar surging all around are to be commended. When supported by a plethora of backing vocals all ganged together in synch, he sounds even better. Just check out the much adored swoon factor of "Jealous Eyes", to back up the claim, a song you will hear much about through the rest of the review. So be prepared, and very afraid. Although anyone sounds better with a gang vocal backup, if they can make Bjorn Lodin in Baltimoore sound passable, then this technique can do wonders for anyone.

The music is at times quite dated, understandably so, since this was molding in the vaults and just now had the dust blown off of. A bit rusty some could say, with the keys that scream "80s revival" and the Dokken-ish guitar riffing that seems almost lost into another era entirely. Others will let loose a cry of glee for those that have the tendancy to hold onto the me-too decade will find that sometimes music ages like wine, it only gets better as the years fly by. The disc is an orgy of commericial rock mostly of German origins groomed to often reached excellence, and other times cheesiness that causes the more easily embarrassed to blush in decadent shame. They blend in the stylish keyboard laden touches of the nearly forgotten Craaft, the pumping hard rock of Bonfire at their "Point Blank" best and one of Michael Bormann's pets, the ever lovable bouncy guitar workout of modern light weights Jaded Heart. The music is of course dated from those times of yore, having been wasting away into decay for many years, but its undeniably cool to hear a relative dinosaur such as this, all new and for the first time in the here and now. Its a nostalgia trip of epic porportions and for frosting on the cake, sugar coating on the pie crust, cream in the cupcake's center... the songs are pretty killer to boot. Now that's a bonus melodic rockers could use more of these days.


Cutting right to the chase and to the heart of the matter, we present to you the best song of the album. It is the aforementioned "Jealous Eyes", the kind of cutting edge tune that kills and slays its contemporaries by being just the kind of sweet delicacy that the Rock Doctor ordered. It packs everything that a melodic rock song needs, with its sweltering chorus that sparks and ignites instantly with addictive rhythms and poured on backing vocals, forcing one to ask tongue and cheek like "is it hot in herre?" With this song burning up the speakers, the answer is an astoundingly determined "yes!" Where there's smoke, there's fire, and the following track offers up yet another dose of notable melodic excellence with a twisting ballad entitled "Cry No More" that melts hearts and turns crisping hearts to ice. Acoustic bits rise and fall for the heavier sections to slip slyly into the spotlight before lightening up the atmosphere again with its potent delicacy. The striding mid tempo sections buried in the depths of pure rock love hit one right where it hurts. If it had been subject to a bit of editing and beefing before release it could have bordered on brilliancy. Everyone would have been buzzing up the boards about this sucker, but the ancient musty production hinders its path to stardom. Don't let that little hurdle deter the interested in discovering this gem for its a spectacular song when taken on its own merits. "Dirty Love" is a down n nasty rocker that has the uncanny ability to raise blood pressure with its pulsing rock structures and throaty vocals, but retains that melodic edge that makes it a delight rather than stooping to the 'other level'.

Which proves that life is not all gravy (and biscuits) for the overseas isolated German rockers. For some insane reason, whether it be divine intervention, someone's not so knacky notion or other pathway divergents, the bright idea popped up like one of those lightbulbs in a cartoon dialogue bubble..."let's not only do sticky AOR but let's broaden the horizons and become a not so serious ROCK band." Now for those still clinging to their fragile fastly fleeting sanity, its not exactly the best idea to put cuddly teddybear keyboard laced AOR on the same disc as wild party rock in the vien of 'funtimes' Van Halen. I mean, Van Halen had abandoned the looser rockin' genre in favor of chart topping lighter bearing pop ballads by 1986. Not only did this move split the personality of the album, but the songs Mydra tackles in this other side lacks the soul of their blood stopping and heart silencing AOR masterpieces. Instead of cranking out another top tier package like "Jealous Heart", they fiddle around with generic half hearted ditties. "Fire" continues this downward spiral drill that seems more cobweb covered than the well paced melodic tunes but is a nice diversion nontheless.


Does "II" surpass the unsung self-titled debut of cult status fame? Most definitely not, but my tastes lean more towards the tastefully smooth Andre than the more strung apart rougher belting style of Keith. Although "Jealous Eyes" and the big ballad stand toe to toe with even the best from the first offering. However way you slice it though, the bottom line is that they disappeared from existance... kind of like pineapple's popularity on pizza. So this is it, but what a swan song it is. And with the envelope passed, the final verdict is in, "Mydra II" is damnable good. With the kind of smashing applause worthy tunage as "Jealous Eyes", it brings a tightening to the chest and a sniffle that such potential hitmakers were left high n' dry to waste away for over a decade without enjoying the possiblities of collecting an audience. The band's songwriting was often tight as a drum as seen on the already mentioned AOR killer as well as up tempo ballad "Cry No More", even though the flirting with good time jam style party rock was a failure. Kudos to AOR Heaven for having the guts to put this thing out on the market, it deserves to be heard, and hopefully with enough positive word of mouth many others will experience the lusciousness of "Jealous Eyes" and the rare final fling for Mydra.

Ratings and Wrap Up:
Songs - 7.0, Performance - 8.0, Production - 7.5, Lyrics - 7.0

Hot Spots: "Jealous Eyes", "Cry No More"
Bottom Line: 12 years in the vaults & unleashed in 2002.  Not as good as the cult classic debut, but a solid followup nontheless.

Review by Alanna Evans -

More Metal Reviews