Album Reviews
Band: D'Ercole

Title: Hard Core

Label: Independent Release

 

In the words of KISS ... I Sure Know Something when it comes to the prolific amount of work Phil Vincent gets through in a year with his solo career and all the projects he's involved with due to the obvious love he has for Rock Music. In fact, if he was British, he'd have been awarded an O.B.E., C.B.E., ... nay ... a Lordship title, Blue Peter Badge, Jim Fixed It For Me medal ... NO NO NO, forget THAT one(!!), but you know where I'm coming from!! This year especially has been, and pardon my French ... total shit to say the least, and if you've been fortunate enough to avoid the dreaded Covid 19 (nope, me neither!), then well done, but on the brighter side, it certainly hasn't completely stopped the bands/singers of this World from doing what comes naturally to them, and that brings us back to Phil!!

Music has been a Godsend in these awful times, so it comes as no real surprise that D'Ercole have rolled their sleeves up, declared 'F*ck Covid' and come up with the goods (once more!) with their latest, soon to be released album 'Hard Core', and in the words of my dearly missed Dad, 'what a snorter!!'  Aye, if you like your music head-splittingly hard, you'll get no better than 'Keep It All Together'.  The raw riffage as it comes to life tells you all you need to know about this band ... they rock with that capital 'R'. Phil's growling vocals giving you the sense that this ain't a fella you'll wanna mess with on a good day, never mind a bad 'un, though that does fall to the side slightly on the key-based 'Bad Dreams', a smashing hard/melodic head-nodder of grand proportion that wouldn't  be out of place on all Rock Radio stations out there, and why not...it has a solo ripping a new butt hole in the song as it heads towards the song's finale just 'cos it can!' ... marvelous fellas!

Easing up a tad, the keys also play a major part on 'This Is Your Life', a Survivor meets Scorpions type of tune, the heavy use of bass up against the soaring guitars and pounding drums a treat on the ears, simply reminding us all just how good our type of music REALLY can be, and it is here. folks, as it is on 'So Many Years', another beefy, moody rocker which riffs away for all it's worth, the duel guitar style in parts always a favourite in this genre, and ... yeah ... a slight rubbing of the 70's coming throughout the song, which ain't a bad thing, is it?!! 'Lost In Yesterday' slows the tempo down to an early Black Sabbath funereal trudge with plenty of brutalesque riffage and soloism on the six-strings, hard-ass drumming in tandem, with Phil's dark. bleak lyrics/vocals adding to the mood that is given off here, proving that not all good songs have to be about love ,happiness and a basket of puppies!!

It's the spiky riff once more that brings life to 'Home Again', stabbing and probing it's way throughout the song, as do the keys, this time the ambience more on the uplifting, radio-friendly side, and even though the title of the song that is 'Bringing Me Down' may seem to imply that 'this is gonna be tough', you'd be wrong, as this is very much in the same vein as the previous track, a foot-tapping, key-based, almost power/pop affair with the type of lyrics that shouldn't really suit the vibe on show, but it shows you can be blunt and bolshie without the harsh music in tow.  

Ballad time!! 'Far Away' will get the 'lighters ... sorry ... mobile torches-in-the-air' brigade reaching for their S*ms*ung A40's to sway side to side whilst in isolation, the 80's styled keys opening this tale of a lost love, soon joined by the heartbroken vocals and very dramatic drumbeat that alone brings a lump to the throat during this sad song, harmonies in the chorus adding to the effect.....job done then....but fear not, wipe away those tears, 'cos 'Shark' is such a huge rockin' tune, 'you're going to need a bigger sound system'!! Yeah, this song stomps along with more punch than Mike Tyson had in his heyday, the crunching melody impossible to stay still to as it bludgeons it's way along on a wave of pure Rock energy, from those huge sounding guitars and bass to the pounding drums and forceful vocals, this just ... well it just makes you glad that you've got to listen to it and for me, not only is it the best song on the album, it proves I'm on the way back when I can feel like this about it!!

'The Only One' is the last song here, and as what has come before it, it Rocks like a bugger! The mid tempo lane it takes certainly suits it's fiery, hard-ass attitude that is thrown out by the band, heavy in parts due, as expected, to those riveting solos and explosive snare drums, sneaking into the melodic during the harmonious chorus, but all in all, this is the way I would have expected D'Ercole to end the album...on a ballsy, in yer face 'snorter'!!  And there we have it, folks, 'Hard Core' from D'Ercole, from the first chord right down to the last, a powerhouse of an album that any Rock fan would get off on, so roll on January for it's official release so you can all get yer lugs 'round it! Smashing stuff!!!!

Review by: Robb Baldwin

 

Tracklisting:

1.  Keep It All Together
2.  Bad Dreams
3.  This Is Your Life
4.  So Many Years
5.  Lost In Yesterday
6.  Home Again
7.  Bringing Me Down
8.  Far Away
9.  Shark
10. The Only One

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