BAD MEMORIES – Forced To Be A Stranger (2012)
Hailing from Pisa, Italy, the quintet BAD MEMORIES has been active since 2006, and after a few line-up adjustments they land with their first full length CD “Forced To Be A Stranger”, released by American label Perris.
Bad Memories is clearly inspired by late ’80s rockin’ AOR from both sides of the Atlantic ocean. I heard a previous demo from the band where alongside original material they covered Robert Tepper and Toto songs.
So this gives you an idea of the musical direction in “Forced To Be A Stranger”.
After the nice orchestrated “Intro”, “Tears Of Anger” starts with synths and guitars in fuller sound, developing an intense riff and a catchy refrain.
“Never Too Hard” is British oriented ala Strangeways, same with the rocking “Shadow In This Life” which features a very good guitars / keys interplay.
In my opinion, the most complete track on the CD is “Our Love Is Dead”, where the chorus is really cool complemented by fine ivory.
An album in this style needs ballads, and this department is well rounded with the Euro sounding “Memories” and the semi-acoustic “Crossroads”.
The semi-midtempo American influenced title track “Forced to Be a Stranger” has some bluesy scent, while “Shooting Star” wraps the album in a good late ’80s AOR vein, even though the guitar solo is quite weak.
“Forced To Be A Stranger” comprises all the ingredients of our beloved late eighties rocking AOR / melodic rock watering several influences from America and Europe.
The result is satisfactory for the most part, the guys have studied & learned the golden book of the genre. These songs are well written and arranged, plenty of keyboards, proper guitars and good vocals (with a bit of accent).
What Bad Memories needs to improve is the spark, the brilliance needed in this genre to make explode the tune in the right moment.
Correctly produced by Olaf Thorsen (Labyrinth, Vision Divine) and with the good mix of Alex Lucatti (Vision Divine), “Forced To Be A Stranger” is an enjoyable recording from a band to keep an eye on in the future.
01 – Intro
02 – Tears Of Anger
03 – Never Too Hard
04 – Memories
05 – Reach The High
06 – Crossroads
07 – Our Love Is Dead
08 – Forced to Be a Stranger
09 – Shadow in This Life
10 – Signs Of Time
11 – Shooting Star
Francesco Cavalieri – vocals
Enrico Dal Canto – guitars
Andrea Rivello – bass
Federico Meranda – keyboards
Angelo Carmignani – drums
BUY IT !