Artist:  After Hours
   Title: Against The Grain
   Label: AOR Heaven

The world of rock n' roll has laid waste to many bands along the way, some for the simple reason they couldn’t cut the mustard, but some like After Hours were just victims of a money grabbing record industry, hell bent on squeezing as much of the almighty dollar out of bands for very little in return.  Taking bands and trying to mould them into something they (the labels) wanted but not what the bands envisioned for themselves, which often led to  the very destruction of the bands themselves.

But bands like After Hours always have the last laugh, as the major labels struggle to keep up with what the true music fans want, the smaller independent labels pick up these gems and turn the bands fortunes around.

It was a chance encounter back in 2008 when the band decided to get back together and record one more song together for old times sake.  As is often the case with these things, small sparks reappeared which soon led to a flame and the band decided to give it one more go and put together an album that they wanted and not some corporate pen pusher looking to balance the books.  The result is 'Against The Grain', an album that is straight up AOR with a dash of Hard Rock thrown in for good measure.

The album gets off to a great start with ‘Stand Up’, this is where that dash of Hard Rock comes into play, with John Francis powering through on the vocal front, while Tim Payne delivers some stirring licks on guitar.  Even the rhythm section makes an early impact, as Martin Wall pumps out the beefy bass lines while skinsman Chris Pope punches out a solid back beat.  All aided and abetted by Sean McMeneny on guitars and keyboards.  A really fine start to the album.

The band deliver a fine Melodic Rock tune in ‘Turn On Your Radio’, before turning in a class performance on ‘Eleventh Hour’.  The latter adding a little folkish element to the mix to throw a little curve ball your way.

It’s back to the more traditional Melodic Rock with the excellent title track ‘Against The Grain’ and the magnificent South Coast AOR rich ‘Angel’, before the first ballad of the album, the heart-warming ‘When Your Around’.

The tempo is picked back up with ‘Hold On’ and my favourite track off the album ’ Let It Go’, before again bringing it down with the bluesy tones of ‘I Want Yesterday’ and the gentle melody rich ‘I Need Your Love’.  The album closes with a great acoustic version of track three ‘Eleventh Hour’.

Not many bands get a second roll of the dice in this business these days but After Hours have rolled a big 7 with this new album and let's hope this time round they get their rewards.

Tracklisting:

1. Stand Up
2. Turn On Your Radio
3. Eleventh Hour
4. Against The Grain
5. Angel
6. When You're Around
7. Hold On
8. Let It Go
9. I Want Yesterday
10. I Need Your Love
11. Eleventh Hour (Acoustic)

                   

 

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