CODA (Paul Sabu) – Coda (2016)
Assembled by British label Z-Records, CODA, the super-group featuring Paul Sabu, guitarist Vince O’Regan (Bob Catley, Legion), keyboard master Eric Ragno (all), EJ Curse (Silent Rage) and Andy Pierce (Escape UK, Nasty Idols), finally will unveil their self-titled debut album next April 4th.
Vince O’Regan and Paul Sabu have co-written many times together already, but both felt it was time to turn that into an album. And the result is “Coda”, firmly planted in late 80s / earl 90s hard rock sounds
‘All Hail’ opens the CD in full melodic hard rock fashion with a very melodious riff, lots of keys in the background, pounding drums and harmony vocals all over. The solo is strong and the chorus nicely arranged with some kind o multi-layered vocals coming from everywhere.
After this effective opener you can tell Coda’s ADN: a mix of Sabu’s great former band Only Child, some late ’80s Whitesnake, Hurricane and a bit of Thunder.
More quality comes with the groovier ‘Blind Mistake’ (somehow reminds me House Of Lords), the very good midtempo ‘Den Of Thieves’ (a highlight), the anthemic ‘Heat On Ice’, and the really commercial – and catchy – ‘Land of the Free’ plenty of synths.
The rest are very enjoyable as well, such as the pumping hard rockers ‘Tell Me Why’ and ‘Use It or Lose I’ (very Only Child), or the melodic hard rocker ‘Whole Lotta Nothin’ with a strong American feel on it.
No ballads, just rockers all over the album.
“Coda” the album & the band is much, much better than I expected. To be honest, it rocks, rocks with a true melodic hard rock sheen.
Usually, this kind of all-star bands put together by recording labels sound really well but what fails are the songs, many times resurrected outtakes from past projects.
Not the case with “Coda”: all songs are strong and carefully arranged, punchy, catchy and melodic, inspired by the glory days of the genre. Production could be more bright (just my taste) but it’s good and everything comes very well mixed.
A very solid debut from Coda, a truly enjoyable album for classic melodic hard rock fans.
01 – All Hail
02 – Blind Mistake
03 – Den of Thieves
04 – Heat on Ice
05 – Land of the Free
06 – One Friend to Another
07 – One Way to Love
08 – Tell Me Why
09 – Use It or Lose It
10 – Whole Lotta Nothin’
Paul Sabu – vocals, guitars
Vince O’Regan – guitars, backing vocals
Eric Ragno – keyboards
EJ Curse – bass, backing vocals
Andy Pierce – drums