TOKYO MOTOR FIST – Tokyo Motor Fist (2017)
TOKYO MOTOR FIST is the new exciting melodic hard rock project formed by guitarist/producer Steve Brown of Trixter and Danger Danger’s singer Ted Poley, and believe me, their self-titled debut to be released by Frontiers Music this week is a must have.
Tokyo Motor Fist is exactly what you would expect from the talented pair from New Jersey: catchy and uplifting melodic hard rock, with all that late ’80s feel the way it should be done for this genre.
You want big – I mean, BIG – hooks? You got ‘em. What about major guitar riffs? Of course there’s plenty of those. Killer rhythm section? Well, with Greg Smith (Ted Nugent, Rainbow, Alice Cooper) and legendary Chuck Burgi (Rainbow, Blue Oyster Cult, Joe Lynn Turner) you simply can’t go wrong.
Ted and Steve have been friends for a long time. They were playing the same club circuit with their respective bands, Danger Danger and Trixter, when both bands were starting their careers. Over the years, they kept a great personal relationship and the idea of doing a record together has been in the cards for many years. Now, thanks to Frontiers this concept has become a reality.
Album opener ‘Pickin’ Up The Pieces’ encompasses all ingredients prominent in feel-good songs that made melodic hard rock so memorable. Thunderous drum pounds? Tick. Choral background vocals? Tick. Outlandish mid-section solo? Tick. Lyrics surrounding heartbreak? Tick.
A sure promising start to the eleven track album.
The record keeps rocking with ‘Love Me Insane’, the wave of cascading guitar of ‘Black And Blue’ and the adrenaline pumping ‘You’re My Revolution’, all blazing and catchy numbers.
‘Love’, the first ballad, is actually quite subtle and understated, the other is called ‘Don’t Let Me Go’, and there’s some great strings and a soul-searching Poley vocals to go with the great refrain. Top class tune.
The quality though just continues relentlessly: ‘Put Me To Shame’ is like the lost child of Danger Danger & early Def Leppard with a Steve Clark style riff and nice vocal thrust, and ‘Done To Me’ has a similarly big and chugging riff with a nice melodic hook. Easily it could well be chosen as the best song from the album.
Then we have a monster midtempo semi-ballad in ‘Get You Off My Mind’. It turns upon an arena ready melody and rich chorus wrapped in a killer melody. A lighter-waver which ticks all the AOR Power Ballad boxes greatly. But the rock n’ roll continues and roars with the brisk & kickin’ closer ‘Fallin’ Apart’, another ruxh of a song.
Tokyo Motor Fist‘s self-titled release epitomises the feel and spirit of the members’ former bands with all that magic intact. Tokyo Motor Fist plays classic melodic hard rock, more the ’80s variety with a slight edge, and a definite AOR tone.
Everything about the songs rock with harmony and melody, rhythm and groove, an abundance of catchy hooks whether by arrangement, refrains, or vocal harmonies, and oodles of soaring guitar solos from Brown. Poley is on fire, never sounding better with his smooth and strong, melodic and passionate, vocal style.
One of the albums of the year folks. Don’t miss this winner.
01. Pickin’ Up The Pieces
02. Love Me Insane
05. Black And Blue
06. You’re My Revolution
07. Don’t Let Me Go
08. Put Me To Shame
09. Done To Me
10. Get You Off My Mind
11. Fallin’ Apart
Ted Poley – Vocals
Steve Brown – Guitars, vocals
Greg Smith – Bass
Chuck Burgi – Drums, Percussion