Album Reviews
Band: Mark Slaughter

Title: Reflections In A Rear View Mirror

Label: Escape Music

The name of Mark Slaughter is one that many will remember from his Vinnie Vincent's Invasion days, but Mark really made his impact on the rock scene in a big way in the late 80’s with Slaughter, with songs like 'Up All Night', 'Eye to Eye', 'Burnin’ Bridges' and 'Fly To The Angels', that still hold special memories to many rock fans today and are still a part of Slaughter's live shows today.  So when it was announced that Mark would be releasing a solo album, I for one couldn’t wait to hear it.

The album sees Mark playing all instruments bar the drums, which Mark Goodin takes up the vacant drum seat for, with Michael Wagner doing all the mixing and mastering.  These three individuals have all the right ingredients for a great rock album.

Things get underway with ‘Away I Go’ and instantly those unmistakable vocals make their mark.  This hard rocker really gets the album off to a great start.  A gritty rocker that shows Mark still can deliver the goods.

The hard rocking continues on the storming ‘Never Givin' Up’, which just happens to also be Mark’s first solo single, of which some of the proceeds went to Red Circle Foundation, a non-profit organization providing immediate gap funding assistance to the families of US Special Forces Personnel.

The album is a diverse mix of styles, which you’d expect from a solo release and one of my favourite tracks has to be the rocking ‘Miss Elainious’.  The tuned down guitars and big rhythm sections make this one stand-out from the crowd.

The tempo and mood is switched with the more melodic rock of ‘Carry Me Back Home’, before going up another gear with the great song ‘The Real Thing’.  A real classy track that not only reflects Mark’s vocals, but also his guitar playing.  A great summertime driving with the car top down type of track.

The album switches tempos once more with the excellent funk filled rocker ’Baby Wants’, then switches across to a ballad, which sees Mark duetting with Gena Johnson.  Then it's back to the high octane rock with the ‘Somewhere Isn’t Here’, a real ballsy anthem rocker that you can really get your teeth into.

There is an instrumental next in the shape of 'In Circle Flight’, which comes complete with pan pipes and has that Aztec feel about it, then it's back to the full on rock n' roll with my second favourite track off the album ‘Velcro Jesus’.  A track that could fit into today’s Slaughter set with ease,

The album closes with the seven minute epic ‘Deep In Her Heart’, which is my outright favourite track off the album.  It's just such a superb track that showcases Mark’s diversity and his boldness in a real real master-class of vocal prowess to round off this great album.  While many vocalists of that era have passed their sell-by date, Mark still shows he’s got one hell of a set of pipes on him.  'Reflections In A Rear View Mirror' may hint at looking back over the past, but this is definitely an album propelling the name of Mark Slaughter forward into the future.  So just one question, why has it been so long for this his first solo effort?

Review by: Barry McMinn

 

Tracklisting:

1. Away I Go 
2. Never Givin' Up 
3. Miss Elainious 
4. Carry Me Back Home 
5. The Real Thing 
6. Baby Wants 
7. Don't Turn Away 
8. Somewhere Isn't Here 
9. In Circle Flight 
10. Velcro Jesus 
11. Deep In Her Heart 

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