Tuesday, 10 July 2012

KANE ROBERTS - "Saints & Sinners" - CD Review

I remember Kane Roberts well from my earlier days, mainly because he was much featured in Kerrplunk! because he was quite the muscle man, striking Rambo poses and making Derek Oliver look even smaller than usual. This all started when he was installed as a guitarist for Alice Cooper’s band, at a time when the Gothic God was at his chart peak with the albums ‘Constrictor’ and ‘Raise Your Fist And Yell’. We all chuckled at the big pecs and poses, and there can’t be many who would have thought that Roberts had any more to offer than what was on show at the time. After impressing with his 1987 self titles album, Roberts really left a mark with his second offering, ‘Saints & Sinners’, which I’ve been listening to for the first time in over 15 years after having fond but vague recollections of the original release. This, children, is why we should treasure labels like Yesterrock (and Rock Candy), because what a shame it would be if albums like this were lost forever unless you were prepared to pay some Ebay skank’s rip off prices.

The album was notable for the fact that Roberts scored a minor hit single with his cover of ’Does Anybody Really Fall In Love Anymore’, the Cher track written by the late 80’s hit factory of Bon Jovi, Sambora, Desomd Child and Diane Warren. Heck - I could have had a hit with a song by those guys! Despite this, the album is definitely not all about one hit single, as there’s some absolutely cracking stuff on here. This is an album full of a upbeat, fist punching melodic rock that is nigh on impossible to dislike. There’s so many great tracks here, with nothing that makes me want to poke the Skip button, and in fact I’m more likely to go back and listen to some a few more times. The standout track is ’Rebel Heart’, a hugely enjoyable song with an irresistible chorus, and listening to it you get the feeling that it’s a Very Good Thing that Desmond Child had a hand in all of the 10 tracks. Yep, it’s another first class 80s style melodic rock album that has DC’s boot prints all over it. If you like his stuff, then ‘Saints & Sinners’ will blow you away.

To some, this may be AOR by the numbers, too safe to be of note, but I always maintain that if the songs grab you and make you sing along, if you’re humming them for days after, then it can’t be all that bad. Roberts has a good voice, a tight band and some of the best songwriters in the business on display. If you are quick, you might get one of the 500 limited release double CD’s with an extra four tracks, previously unreleased. Of these, ‘House Burning Down’ and ‘Dirty Blonde’ are pretty good, although not up to the album’s high standards, whilst ‘White Trash’ and ‘Waiting For You’ are pretty average MR fare. So if you don’t get the bonus edition it’s no great shame, but if you have a melodic rock bone in your body the album itself is a must. Buy or die! 


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