AIRLESS – Changes (2013)
Spanish melodic hard rockers AIRLESS were formed in 2002, recorded three albums and toured with the likes of Vega, Serpentine, Houston and Reckless Love.
Five years have passed since their last album, the time Airless took to refine their sound and style, hence the CD title “Changes”.
I can hear some ‘changes’ in this Airless’ new offering, sharper than before and with more keyboard presence now played by a dedicated keyboardist in guest musician Diego Rois, and this has provided a stronger delivering.
What remains untouched is the solid lush vocal melodies, the hard working rhythm section and the flawlessly six-string work of Robert Rodrigo, one of Spain’s best known rock guitarists and endorser of Ibanez Guitars, Orange amps and DiMarzio pickups.
The band’s style, whilst based on the classic American melodic hard rock sound features modern European hallmarks in certain chord progressions and melodies. So you have the best of both worlds here.
Whilst sticking to a well-trodden radio rock formula, the new edge heard in “Changes” definitely gives the album a unique sound that never gets boring at all.
Inaki Lazkano boasts a very impressive set of pipes, shown off in full on “Upstream”, his soaring vocals (and excellent command of the English language) really shines plenty of range.
He even proves to be on par of legendary vocalist Danny Vaughn (Tyketto / Waysted / Vaughn) performing a duet on the title track “Changes” with amazing results.
As said, much of this new material feels edgier than before, merging the band’s traditional melodic hard with robust AOR melodies and catchy hooks bold enough for Eighties arena play. Songs like “Latest Prophecy”, the aforementioned “Upstream” and “Start Again” burn it up.
Even the quasi-ballads “Reach For You” (featuring very good harmony vocals) and “Come Back Home” weigh in on the rockin’ side of things.
The band even go political on “Gone Too Far”, the track preceded by news broadcasts about genocide and mass murder that is substantially heavier than any of the other songs.
Lovable keyboard fills are present stronger than ever for Airless in the jumpin’ “Rescue Me” and the groovy “I Don’t Care”, the latter with a classic American atmosphere.
Robert Rodrigo showcases a huge talent all over the recording, being perhaps his best complete job on the great “Till The End of Time”, a terrific melodic hard rocker and one of the best tracks in the disc.
“Changes” should be the definitive recording for Airless to get the international recognition they largely deserve.
Consistent songwriting, top notch musicianship and very good production makes this disc second to none.
Very, Very Good.
01. Start Again
02. I Don’t Care
04. Dead Inside
05. Changes (feat. Danny Vaughn)
06. Till The End Of Time
07. Rescue Me
08. Gone Too Far
09. Reach For You
10. Come Back Home
11. Latest Prophecy
Inaki Lazcano: Vocals
Robert Rodrigo: Guitars
Miguel Manjon: Bass
Pako Marinez de Musitu: Drums
Diego Rois: Keyboards
Danny Vaughn: Vocals on track 5
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