DEPARTURE - review added 21st March 2012
Album Review: Hitch A Ride (2012)
For fans of: Hard Rock
American musician Mike Walsh's band Departure released their self-titled debut in 1998. "Open Your Mind" followed a year later, with "Corporate Wheel" coming along in 2001. The sound changed for each release, as did the vocalist; moving respectively from Ken Michaels to Dave Baldwin to Timothy Lewis.
Eleven years after the last record, and with another new singer in the form of Silent Call's Andi Kravljaca, Departure have moved away from their proggier roots to more of a straight ahead, albeit keyboard-rich hard rock sound.
There is plenty of depth to the music, and there's a dreamy sheen to the sound brought but some subtle but fantastical synth elements. The rhythm section and guitars are great even if they don't push any boundaries. Andi's vocals are understated yet superb, very similar to but softer than Goran Edman.
It's hard to know where to start with the songs as there isn't a duffer on the album. I'm not sure if any of the tracks are going to end up on the all-time-classic shelf, but it's a struggle to find one that doesn't have a huge chorus, catchy riff or memorable vibe. 'Soldier Of Fortune', 'LuvSick', and 'Without You' are arguably my favourites, although with a few more spins I could easily change my mind with the choice on offer.
This is a fine album full of great songs. There is an understated charm to the sound which may put a few people off, but they'll be missing a real treat.
Overall (Not An Average Of The Above):
01 No Where To Go
02 You Don't Need To This Anymore
03 Waiting For Rain To Come
04 Soldier Of Fortune
07 Travel Through Time
09 This Is My Time
10 Without You
11 Outside Looking In
Mike Walsh: Guitars, Keyboards
Duey Ribestello - Drums
Ryan Walsh - Bass
Andi Kravljaca - Lead Vocals
Produced by Mike Walsh
Mixed and Mastered by Martin Kronlund at JM Recording Studio Gothenburg, Sweden
Label: Escape Music