MORITZ – Undivided (2011)
MORITZ are one in a very long line of “what could have been” bands.
Coming together as far back as 1986, Greg Hart (keyboards, guitar), Mick Neaves (drums), Ian Edwards (bass), Andy Stewart (piano, keyboards), Pete Scallan (vocals) and Mike Nolan (guitar) released a 7″ single and an EP, as well as putting together some excellent demos.
Even though they produced a classy AOR sound that was more than commercially viable for the times, Moritz failed to land a record contract and only two short years after they were formed, they was no more, with some of the band going on to form IF ONLY.
Fast forward to 2008 and thanks to some journalist support, the album ‘City Streets’ appeared containing the four tracks from the band’s EP and four other songs lifted from demos.
The response was so positive that the six men of Moritz decided to get back together again for another shot at AOR glory and the resultant album, “Undivided”, is a mixture of brand new songs and some from twenty four years ago that have been re-recorded.
If you have a soft spot for the likes of Survivor, Night Ranger, FM, Journey and in places the more pompy feel of Tobruk, then you will not be able to resist what Moritz have to offer.
The title cut is one of the strongest examples of Moritz’s songcraft, as they combine a hard hitting riff with huge chorus vocals. The mid-paced stomping style shows obvious influences from Survivor, with big backing vocals lend its main hook plenty of punch.
The mid-paced power ballad “Should’ve Been Gone” is top notch, making good use of choppy guitars and very ’80s keyboard sounds.
On the strength of the atmospheric keys and upbeat guitars of “Lonely Without You”, the keyboard punch of “Same But Different”, or the arena anthem “Power Of The Music” it would be no exaggeration to suggest that if they had gotten the breaks, Moritz could be the household names that Journey or Foreigner are today.
The twin guitar attack from Hart and Nolan adds a cutting edge to Andy Stewart’s keyboard work, while in Pete Scallan Moritz have a singer that has the class of Lou Gramm, the histrionics of Steve Perry (without the glass shattering pitch) and the bluesy grit of Paul Rogers.
“Undivided” is AOR of the highest order and maybe due to the fact that the band were there when this music ruled the airwaves, it has a real heart and soul that is often lacking from a lot of the newer bands in this genre, adding a welcome air of authenticity to the Moritz sound.
Originally released last year independently, now has the proper edition by an european label.
1. Power Of The Music
3. Should’ve Been Gone
4. Who Do You Run To
5. Can’t Stop The Angels
6. Same But Different
7. Any Time At All
8. Without Love
9. Never Together
10. Lonely Without You
11. Can’t Get Away
12. World Keep Turning
Pete Scallan : Vocals
Greg Hart : Guitars , keyboards , vocals
Mike Nolan : Guitar , vocals
Andy Steward : Piano , keyboards
Ian Edwards : Bass , vocals
Mick Neaves : Drums
IF YOU LIKE IT, BUY IT!