by Justin Gaines
– Senior Columnist/News Editor —
Well, the guys in Adriangale sure didn’t waste any time following up their 2013 release Suckerpunch. Granted, it did take them the better part of a decade to get that one out, but still, it is a bit surprising in this day and age to see new studio albums a year apart. Defiance is the name of the new album, but given the band’s activity of late perhaps Momentum would have been a more appropriate title. Adriangale is on fire lately, and Defiance is another great example of the creative magic vocalist Jamie Rowe (of Guardian fame) and guitarist/songwriter/producer Vic Rivera make together.
It’s great to see the band come back so soon after Suckerpunch and with so many high quality songs. From the start Adriangale has had a perfect balance of melodic and hard rock sounds and that is true on Defiance. It’s got crunch. It’s got groove. But at the end of the day it’s the melodies that send these songs straight to your subconscious. Part of that is Rivera’s guitar work, and of course a large part is Rowe’s huge vocal presence. He has one of the most unique – think Eric Marten meets Ronnie Atkins – and expressive voices in melodic rock, and when he’s backed by Rivera and guitarist Eddie Campbell the results are pure magic.
Defiance gets right down to business – 10 songs and no filler – and doesn’t ever drag, which is a rarity these days. “Sometimes,” “Warning Signs” and the title track are fantastic (and completely catchy) rockers, and “What About Love” and “Last of My Heart” are as good as any AOR songs you’re likely to hear this year. And the band closes with an unexpected, but totally fun, cover of Billy Idol’s “Speed” to end Defiance on a rocking note.
Time – and repeat spins – will tell if Defiance is a better album than Suckerpunch, but it is definitely another fantastic melodic hard rock album from this too often overlooked band. If you’re already an Adriangale fan or are a Guardian fan looking to see what else Jamie Rowe is up to, Defiance is a must-have release. Beyond that, if you like high quality melodic rock – anywhere from Gotthard to Pretty Maids to Mr. Big to Tango Down – Adriangale is a band you really need to get to know, and Defiance makes a very convincing introduction.
Genre: Melodic Rock, Hard Rock, Melodic Hard Rock
Jamie Rowe (v)
Vic Rivera (g) (v) (b) (d) (k)
Eddie Campbell (g) (v)
2. Yours Forever
3. Back To You
4. What About Love
7. Warning Signs
9. Last of My Heart
Label: Kivel Records
Hardrock Haven Rating: 8.75/10