BLANC FACES - review added 27th October 2009
Album Review: Falling From The Moon (2009)
For fans of: Hard Rock... and remembering the greats
Blanc Faces - built around the talents of brothers Robbie and Brian La Blanc - came to prominence In 2005 with their self-titled debut album.
Falling From The Moon follows that by offering more of the same pumping AOR with soaring melodies and big harmonies. The sound is bright, as fresh as a newly plucked strawberry and more friendly than a big dog with too much saliva.
As with the first album, Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69) covers mixing duties. The brothers - Robbie on lead vocals and rhythm guitars, Brian on vocals and bass - are joined by Kyle Woodring (Styx, Survivor, John Mellencamp) on drums, Jeff Batter (Cannata) on keyboards, plus Butch Taylor and Michael Patzig on lead guitar.
Not long after the record was completed, Kyle Woodring sadly passed away, so the entire album is now dedicated to him.
Opening track 'I Come Alive' is pleasant and almost painfully upbeat. It'll put a bounce in your step even if you're stood in some glue. The title track follows, and it's just as spunky. It's boasts a great chorus and is more enthusiastic than the aforementioned salivary dog. 'I Swear To You' is still an optimistic track, but hints at a sadder heart. 'Everything' heads down the big slow ballad road. It's nice but monstrously clichéd.
'It's All About The Love' reminds of any number of Jim Peterik tracks. Robbie has got a great voice and really suits this semi-theatrical style of rock music. 'Goodbye Summer' is a beautifully balanced feelgood/sorrow-filled song that manages the neat trick of being happy and sad at once. It's a fantastic track that - and I've lost count of how many times of said this in 2009 - deserves serious chart action but blatantly won't get the opportunity. Come on Frontiers, push this song!!!
'Deep In The Heart' is okay, if a touch average. The harder rocking 'Don't Take It Away' is better, while the retro-tastic 'Like A Believer' heads off at an interesting tangent that keeps the album's flow fresh and exciting. 'Light Of The World' is a pounding ballad that's, again, okay but retreads ground the album crossed earlier. 'I Will' belts along at a fair rate of knots and is pleasant enough. Final track 'Fly' has a keyboard intro leading into a slow, deep ballad with a fists-pumping-the-air brilliance to it. Again the vocals are sublime.
It would be fair to say this album pays a great tribute to the late great Kyle Woodring. His drumming sounds brilliant and carries along a load of top-notch tracks. Falling From The Moon certainly isn't perfect as a whole, but it's heading very firmly in the right direction. I can also see a few of the tracks fighting for honours in the Rock Realms end of year awards. Good stuff.
Check out... Those vocals.
01. I Come Alive
02. Falling From The Moon
03. I Swear To You
05. It's All About The Love
06. Goodbye Summer
07. Deep In The Heart
08. Don't Take It Away
09. Like A Believer
10. Light Of The World
11. I Will
Label: Frontiers Records