BURNING RAIN – Pleasure To Burn [Re-Release + Bonus] (2013)
Accompanying the new BURNING RAIN cd, Frontiers Records has re-released the band’s first two albums originally released in 1999 and 2000: “Burning Rain” and “Pleasure To Burn”, including as bonus two previously unreleased tracks each.
Both are classic hard rock scorchers with a bluesy vibe all the way, with current Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich showing his chops as guitarist and songwriter. Based on these two albums, it was a no-brainer for David Coverdale to choose him as his wingman. The rest of the band comprised of Ian Mayo on bass, Alex Makarovich on drums and co-songwriter & singer singer Keith St John.
Sophomore opus “Pleasure To Burn” very much picks up where its predecessor left off. Somehow the band’s sound has gotten closer to that of Whitesnake, possibly a sign of things to come. Even the song titles give that away – “Judgement Day”, “Cherie Don’t Break My Heart” and “Sex Machine”.
But you can appreciate an even more melodic approach, this time adding keyboards to the mix (played by sessionist Edward Roth) and a slightly commercial intention on the choruses. As example, check the Van Halen-like beginning of “Stone Cold N’ Crazy” (which, after the suitably fiery “Fireball” and the bombastic “Love Emotion”, rounds off the album’s suitably frenetic opening section) to see what I mean.
Also, the band managed to write a vintage sounding ’80s Hair Metal power ballad in “Faithfully Yours”. It’s semi-acoustic, romantic and has a big chorus; a sure-fire hit if it had been released in 1988.
The album’s crowning moment is the aforementioned Snake-like “Cherie Don’t Break My Heart” where Burning Rain packed more melody to this one particular song than to the rest of their catalogue. A special mention must be given to Aldrich’s fantastic guitar solo – it’s tasteful and beautiful.
But that’s a mere prelude for the giant of a track to come; “Shot Down” is classic US sleazy-meets-melodic hard rock, with a growling, grunting performance from Aldrich’s shotgun blast-blasting guitar and St John on totally stunning form with a vocal guaranteed to make women go weak at the knees and grown men cry with admiration. And then they only go and follow it with the bumpin’, luscious “Love De Jour” to make a duo of powerhouse dancefloor fillers.
Bonuses “Live For That Rush”, a previously unreleased track, brings to mind Mr. Big not only for its title as Aldrich shreds fast in a Paul Gilbert fashion, while the other is the finest song on the CD, “Cherie Don’t Break My Heart”, receiving a very warm acoustic treatment.
“Pleasure To Burn” is a logical successor in every department of Burning Rain’s previous album, this time with a more melodic hard rock inclination and commerciality.
Aldrich, St. John and the rest of guys are in fine form here, another excellent plate from the killer machine that is Burning Rain.
01 – Fireball
02 – Love Emotion
03 – Stone Cold n’ Crazy
04 – Cherie Don’t Break My Heart
05 – Shot Down
06 – Love De Jour
07 – Faithfully Yours
08 – Sex Machine
09 – Metal Superman
10 – Judgement Day
11 – Devil Money
12 – Live For That Rush [Demo – prev. unreleased] (bonus track)
13 – Cherie Don’t Break My Heart [Acoustic] (bonus track)
Keith St John – vocals
Ian Mayo – bass
Alex Makarovich – drums
Edward Roth – keyboards
BUY IT !