1. Still Alive
3. Whiskey Woman
4. Living For the Moment
5. At My Command
6. Is It My Body
7. When the Night is Over
8. The Hunger
9. Remember Me
10. I'm Back
|More Releases by Silent Rage:
Silent Rage - Shattered Hearts (1986)
Silent Rage - Don't Touch Me There (1988)
|Related Releases (in sound):
Y&T - Contagious (1987)
Shark Island - Law of the Order (1990)
|Silent Rage eased on to the scene in the mid
80s with the highly underrated slab of melodic rock, "Shattered Hearts" and even
with the high class party vibed "Don't Touch Me There", they still ended up
nowhere. Whether it was due to being ignored by their label or the changing winds of hard
rock, the flannel shirt people were lurking ominiously right around the corner at the
"Don't Touch Me There" point afterall. And its still no excuse, for it was still
prime time rock full steam ahead as far as mainstream radio was concerned. Adult
Contemporary was cranking 'lighter in the air' ballads from Warrant, Cinderella, Scorpions
and others for goodness sake! If that's not a healthy rock atmosphere then I don't know
what is... Reguardless of what happened, Silent Rage slipped between the cracks and
disappeared all together from public eye for well over a decade, their two discs being
sold off of Ebay for skyhigh prices, but now they are back.
And the first question lurking in everyone's minds is... have they changed? Its the fear of every fan, their beloved long-gone band resurrected from extinction only to letdown expectations and become a disappointment and ultimately a joke because of one of two situations:
a.) becoming a former shadow of themselves
b.) and worse, the curse of the 'updated sound'
We've seen Don Dokken turn the melodic dream into his own personal adult contemporary solo touring outfit, Warrant and other glammers don the plaid angst ridden alternative music monster that drowned their trade in the first place, Scorpions go techno and Black Sabbath sell their souls to the highest bidder. Nothing surprises us anymore. We're jaded. Thankfully not every comeback has to be steeped in pain and shame. "Still Alive" might cause the kiddies to snicker with its flirty riffs, sleazy lyrics and catchy choruses that come packed to the hilt in melodic bounce, but those born of the time this harkens back to will adore every wading in the 1980s moment. Even better, the music is pretty darn good at that. These boys can play, and haven't missed a beat since their last album, this is a natural step right where "Don't Touch..." left off in some places, in others its a tribute to their influences. Sizzle cool guitar by Mark Hawkins, sing-along worthy choruses and thumping bass, with the multiple vocalists, my favorite being the one with the deep chested rumble in the Coverdale/Meneketti style that leaves little question about his gender. And more often than not this disc is a swinging good time, and a perfect album for the hot dog days of summer, and those cool desert nights. Unfortunately it also settles for mediocrity in some areas but pours on 'out of this world' delights in others...
They should have never included "When the Night is Over"... it is "Still Alive"'s weak spot... leaving the listener weak in the knees and vulnerable in the heart that is... It is superbly excellent, a true accomplishment... AOR at its finest... a reminder of why the genre is so close to the soul...and I could go on and on... but the point is, the song is of such high quality it sours one on the rest of the album. Sure, the power tripping "At My Command" and the title track are both enjoyable in their own special ways and the melodic magnificence of"Unchained" and the raunchy romp of "Living For the Moment" almost worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as "When the Night is Over" (but not quite, so don't get carried away yet), nothing else manages to really measure up. Then there's the pair of wayward tunes, "The Hunger" and "I'm Back" which are quite laughably pathetic in comparision. The disc would have worked much better as an eight tracker than tacking these two on. Unfortunately I'm hard pressed to recommend this one as a definite must have 'as is', yet I grieve for those AOR fans that miss out on hearing "When the Night..." and "Unchained" only because they can't wade through the rest to get to the gems. If you can sort through the mess, and live with having just a few superb songs in the 'true' Silent Rage style and caliber then step right up, "Still Alive" is made just for you, here's hoping the band will come to their senses, realize their strengths and mine them to their fullest extent for the next release...meanwhile, keep the skip button on that remote handy... take the bad with the good, for some of this is just too excellent to miss.
Ratings and Wrap Up: