Album Reviews
Band: Angels Or Kings

Title: Go Ask The Moon

Label: AOR Heaven

So, Manchester actually had a good band, then!! Angels Or Kings, formed back in the late 80's showed the world that it wasn't all baggy jeans, maracas and E's that signified you were from Madchester, oh no, AOR was alive and kicking under that radar.  Unfortunately for A.O.K., they eventually disbanded as they couldn't secure a label deal because of the changing musical environment, only for 3 of the original members to reform in 2011 with a new vocalist, thus starting to write their debut album, 'Kings Of Nowhere', which caught the imagination of radio stations and AOR fans alike. 

 

After some high profile appearances and great reviews in the media, Angels Or Kings have returned to AOR Heaven to release, this, their second album, and you immediately hear exactly why there has been so much 'fuss' made about this band, as from the riffed up opener 'No More Faith To Lose', you're hit with the harmonies and Baz Jackson's great raspy rock voice, the type that has sadly been in decline within this genre of music over the last few years.  Yeah, a nice voice is ... well ... nice, but we all need our ears taught a lesson now and then, and with Jackson, that is exactly what you get.

 

'Ancient Fires' comes to life with a tender, wandering touch of keys from Dave Ellis and gentle vocals before it bursts into life as Daniel Bate's striding bass-line and Andy Chemney's powerful drumbeats take over, pushing the tempo up to the max, before reigning it all in as the Foreigneresque 'No Alibi' takes over, mid paced, but still full of life as the guitars soar and swoop throughout.  Now, here's an easy lesson on how to make The Cov green with envy, write a huge, heartfelt ballad like 'The Nights Don't Count', and watch Him turn into a posh Hulk!  Thing is, this sounds just as good with previously mentioned 'raspy' vocals as it maybes would with that rich tone we're all familiar with, but Jackson wins it for me today.  You can step back in time to the 80's as the whole vibe that swirls around the lighter feel to 'When The Heart Is Wrong' is a reminder of Journey at their harmonious best, with the keys at the forefront of the track, although it's pretty obvious that the six-string 'rule ok' as they pummel their way through the rockier 'You Better Pray'.

'Breathe' begins like an 80's Heart track, softly on the atmospheric keys and gentle rimmed drums, only to kick you in the nuts as more edgy riffage appears from nowhere, then to make sure your nuts stay positively hoofed, Y&T- vibed 'Waiting For The Thunder' takes over guitar Heaven and we're away, showing our friends in America that they aren't the only ones who can play this game, sometimes we can do it better!  Sticking with said American theme, 'On The Corner Of Love And Lost' oozes another touch of Steve Perry-ness apres Journey, very classy light melodic rock that saturated the airwaves over there before it all turned to crap like Justin Beaver and the Miley Cystisis, then oh boy, oh boy, do Angels Or Kings take us to another level?? 

 

'Heartbreak Railroad Company' has to be THE ballad of 2016 by a country mile, and Tony Bell should be given some sort of award for penning this marvel.  In fact, if (once again) this was the U.S. of A. he would be walking away with a boatload of them, and deservedly so, as long as he shared them with the rest of the band, because as a whole, they hit the 'get 'em weeping' button right on the head, from Jackson's yearning vocals to the string-tugging keys and orchestration.  Kleenex, you're about to make a fortune!  The album ends on a slightly less high, but still good way on the thumping title track rocker, showing for the final time just how good a singer Jackson is, and of course the band as well. AND THEY'RE BRITISH. 'Nuff said! 

 

'Go Ask The Moon' is as highly polished as a bald man's head after he's used Pledge on it, and that's all down to the production and mastering team who deserve their plaudits as well, so 'well done' to all involved in the making of this very fine album!

 

Review by: Robb Baldwin

 

Tracklisting:

1. No More Faith To Lose 
2. Ancient Fires
3. No Alibi 
4. The Nights Don't Count 
5. When The Heart Is Wrong 
6. You Better Pray 
7. Breathe 
8. Waiting For The Thunder 
9. On The Corner Of Love And Lost 
10. Heartbreak Railroad Company 
11. Go Ask The Moon 

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