TWO OF A KIND – Rise [Japan Edition +1] (2018)
TWO OF A KIND is a Dutch Melodic Rock / AOR band whose self-titled debut album was released by Frontiers Music the past decade and now will release their new album “Rise” on July 13, 2018, again via Frontiers. This Japanese edition will see the light of day tomorrow with a bonus track.
Fred Hendrix, better known as main songwriter and singer for the Melodic Rock masters Terra Nova, heads up the band. Back at the turn of the century, Fred had become more and more interested in production and songwriting, so he started looking for new and fresh talent to develop.
For this new project Two Of A Kind, Fred hooked up with not one but two female singers, Esther Brouns and Anita Craenmehr.
After a few writing sessions, Fred submitted the plan to Frontiers for a new band with a great melodic rock edge in the style of Boston meets Heart. The label was really pleased and signed the band in late 2005.
Recording of the self-titled debut album was completed during the Summer ‘06 with Fred’s Terra Nova bandmates Gesuino Derosas (guitar), Hans in’t Zandt (drums), and Fred’s brother Ron Hendrix (keyboards) joining the proceedings.
Self-titled debut ‘Two Of A Kind’ was very well received from fans and critics alike and now the whole gang is back together for another album!.
After 11 years, long overdue follow-up “Rise” is sure to please melodic rock fans around the globe, even more varied than the debut.
For those who aren’t familiar with Two Of A Kind’s music, let me tell you that this band combines perfectly the classic melodies of Boston, Heart’s ’80s female hard rock attack and, of course, Terra Nova with some new and fresh AOR elements, and the result is very strong.
Opener ‘Here Is The Now’ is quite – surprisingly – hard rock oriented with driven guitars at the forefront. ‘Rock Your World’ is where the classy melodic rock style of the band appears, with anthemic choruses.
With ‘Wheel Of Life’, the band delivers an edgier and very Heart-esque rocker that is among my personal tunes out of this new opus. Next, we have the groovier ‘Rise’ that includes classic Hammond-like key but a modern feel.
AOR waves appear on the dynamic ‘Higher’ (another highlight), followed by ‘Alienation’, a calmer midtempo with acoustics into the mix.
‘It Ain’t Over’ is modern melodic rock and perhaps the more ‘European’ song on the album, fans of Terra Nova will find a nice melody on the sweet ‘Without You’ (with some Saraya feel as well).
‘Without You’ is also delivered in its acoustic version in the bonus track of this Japan edition, a chance to both lead vocalists to shine.
Two Of A Kind returns to the melodic rock scene with a really solid album all the way. “Rise” is a record that will please fans of the classic era of the genre, the more modern current style, and female-fronted hard rock music of all times as well.
Overall, the songwriting is very melodic, with a couple of edgier rockers and ballads to balance the whole product, well recorded, mixed and produced.
Mastermind Fred Hendrix try to avoid the ‘uniform sound’, adding different kind of keys / synths, 6 & 12 string guitars, varied layers of vocals harmonies, etc, something welcomed.
01. Here Is The Now
02. Rock Your World
03. Wheel Of Life
06. Touch the Roof
09. It Ain’t Over
10. Without You
11. Run Girl
12. Without You [Acoustic] (Japan Bonus Track)
Esther Brouns – Vocals
Anita Craenmehr – Vocals
Gesuino Derosas – Guitar
Hans in’t Zandt – Drums
Ron Hendrix – Keyboards
Fred Hendrix – Bass, Production