Hot off the Press

Tokyo Motor Fist | Tokyo Motor Fist

by Franco Cerchiari
– Sr. Columnist —

For those in the know, it should come as no surprise when it is said that the Italian label Frontiers has become masters in the art of creating the “supergroup.” Find Me, The Defiants, One Desire, Revolution Saints, Prime Suspect, Khymera, W.E.T., Roth/Brock Project, the excellent Raintimes, and so on, and so forth, all of who have released an outstanding catalog of Melodic Rock. To add to that extraordinary list is the group and release we are about to talk about here – Tokyo Motor Fist’s debut, made up of some truly incredible musicians. On vocals Ted Poley (Danger Danger, Prophet, Melodica, Pleasure Dome), Steve Brown (Trixter, Atenzia, 40’ Ringo,) on guitars, on bass, Greg Smith (Alice Cooper, Dokken, Alan Parsons, Ted Nugent, Rainbow) and rounding out the quartet is drum god Chuck Burgi (Blue Oyster Cult, Joe Lynn Turner, Billy Joel, Rainbow, Meat Loaf.) But let’s just get this right out in the open – this WILL be one of the highlight releases of 2017 – guaranteed!

Ted Poley sounds so great here, and as a band, they play off each other wonderfully. The songwriting is beyond good, the chemistry between the band members is tangible, and together they excel. Epic choruses, layers of melodies, huge guitars, keyboards that are everywhere, monster sized hooks and vocals that soar to the moon and beyond made listening to this, one glorious experience. Fans of White Widdow, Outlasted, Wild Souls, Sky Of Forever, Cruzh, Cry Of Dawn, King Company, and Angels Or Kings will want to latch on to this one, for God knows useless American radio will, of course, ignore Tokyo Motor Fist and once again show their incompetence, but for fans of Melodic Hard Rock this one will leave you in orgasmic rapture. Rockers blend with ballads, and so many times it seemed these songs couldn’t be played loud enough. The music overall is as infectious as hell and magnificently harmonic. The sound and mix are perfect. Just what one would expect from a Frontiers’ release, the sound is crystal clear, smooth, crisp and each and every note, harmony and vibe simply echoed and pulsated.

Opening with “Picking Up The Pieces,” Tokyo Motor Fist kicks things off with a bang, choosing to put their music front and center with a massive song with pounding drums and midway through, the song explodes into an anthem that is the best song that Bon Jovi never wrote. Four strikes of a cow bell kick off the cracking, mammoth sounding “Love Me Insane,” that without question is the CD highlight and also a must hear is the arena-filling, wonderfully played, “Love,” the synthesizers of “Black and Blue,” and the chugging “You’re My Revolution.” Steve Brown shines on the ballad “Don’t Let Me Go,” the massive guitars of “Shameless,” the rocking “Put Me To Shame” is reminiscent of Overland and drips with attitude complete with a bluesy underscore and “Done To Me,” is a mid-tempo affair that has more layers of vocals than would think is possible in one song. The contemplative, thoughtful “Get You Off My Mind,” is a song telling the tale of a long time relationship ending, and closing this extraordinary release is “Falling Apart,” a guitar lover’s dream with heavy riffs and chords.

Yeah, this one was outstanding all the way around. So smooth, so pleasing, so inviting, so engaging and it probably goes without saying, but when a band releases such a collection of songs such as what was heard on this, it makes a hatred for radio even more intense, for this needs to be heard by millions. We can’t count on radio to spread the word, but for those wanting music that will take you away, and make you forget about the real world, and if even for a short while will having you closing your eyes and getting lost in the world of the melodic, Tokyo Motor Fist’s debut has your name all over it.

Genre: Melodic Hard Rock, Melodic Rock

Band Members:
Ted Poley – vocals
Steve Brown – guitars, keyboards
Greg Smith – bass
Chuck Burgi – drums

Track Listing:
1. Picking Up The Pieces
2. Love Me Insane
3. Shameless
4. Love
5. Black and Blue
6. You’re My Revolution
7. Don’t Let Me Go
8. Put Me To Shame
9. Done To Me
10. Get You Off My Mind
11. Falling Apart

Label: Frontiers Records

Website: http://www.frontiers.it/album/5355

Hardrock Haven rating: 9.5 Stars (9.5 / 10)

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