MORITZ – SOS [retail CD]
Criminally ignored during the ’80s when exploded into the UK Melodic Rock / AOR scene – but highly praised by fans of the genre years after, MORITZ returned early this decade with the solid CD Undivided. With the five original members, vocalist Pete Scallan, guitarists Greg Hart & Mike Nolan, bassist Ian Edwards and keyboardist Andy Stewart, they are now augmented by new drummer John Tonks (Thunder, The Union, Bonnie Tyler) presenting a new record titled “SOS“.
There’s a really bad sounding copy floating the net… this is a clean, not cuts, not brickwalled one.
The first thing you’ll notice in this new release is the superior sound and overall production (handled by the band), helped by the solid engineering by Ian Caple (Wildhearts, A-Ha, If Only). But as always, the reaching goal for any group of musicians are the good songs, and you’ll find them in abundance here.
“SOS” doesn’t just contain the kind of classy Melodic Rock that will make some bands weep with jealousy but also includes the magic poignant from the glorious decade that most of the ‘big acts’ of the genre seems to have lost.
Leaded by Pete Scallan vocals (which have matured into a Jimmy Barnes’ lovable style), “Fire” truly ignites a rocking album delivered with passion. “Can’t Hide My Heart” follows, with a smooth AOR tempo, swirling synths and an instant memorable chorus.
This Moritz of the new century has strong classic British influences like City Boy, Bad Co. or more contemporary acts as Thunder, blended with their traditional AOR infusions and melodies. “Gonna Lose Her” has more late Seventies groove than anything heard from Moritz before… until the chorus, where their ’80s melodic rock trademark emerges in all its glory. Great, great song.
“Remember Yesterday” has a Foreigner feel, while it’s hard not to compare “Mercury Falling” to Brian May’s AORish moments as the structure, the emotionally charged melody and the guitar tones recalls his mastery in a compelling way.
“Amber Lee” is one of the many highlights, a very ’80s radio friendly affair, followed by the mellow “Caught Between Life & Light”, a semi-ballad with a terrific in-crescendo reaching its climax via a superb solo from Nolan.
“Invincible” adds acoustics to the electricity in a pompous vein, “Flying Too Close To The Sun” is quite melodramatic over a bluesy classic pattern morphed into an AOR melody, then in “Soul Of Fire” the elegant Barclay James Harvest ghost merges with the band’s classic rock roots.
The disc is rounded with title track “SOS”, a powerful Moritz modern day melodic rock anthem featuring layered vocals, a tickling keyboard line and a meaty guitar riff.
Moritz’s “SOS” undeniably worth its money as it offers a real handful of old-school Melodic Rock / AOR infused songs performed by experienced pro’s in a very honest proposition for melodious enthusiasts.
The band remains true to their original sound, in this new era blended with a healthy dose of classic rock featuring a subtle rhythm section, infectious guitar, sweet keyboard melodies and sing-along choruses. Predominantly the main songwriter is Greg Hart, who based on his quality deserves to be sitting on a huge pot of gold.
These musicians were there when this type of tunes ruled the airwaves, and maybe this is the reason their music has the real heart & soul that is often lacking from a lot of the newer bands in this genre.
Despite their unfortunate past, Moritz is here to stay.
02. Can’t Hide My Heart
03. Gonna Lose Her
04. Remember Yesterday
05. Mercury Falling
06. Amber Lee
07. Caught Between Life & The Light
09. Flying Too Close To The Sun
10. Soul Of Fire
Peter Scallan – Lead & backing vocals
Greg Hart – Electric & acoustic guitars, vocals
Mike Nolan – Electric guitar, vocals
Ian Edwards – Bass, synthesizers, Hammond organ, vocals
Andy Stewart – Piano, Wurlitzer, synthesizers
John Tonks – Drums, percussion, programming
BUY IT !