ROBERT RODRIGO BAND (feat Johnny Gioeli) – Living For Louder (2018)
The just released “Living For Louder” is the new album from ROBERT RODRIGO BAND, founded by talented, Spanish virtuoso guitarist Robert Rodrigo, featuring on lead vocals the great Johnny Gioeli of Hardline, Axel Rudi Pell et all fame.
Melodic hard rock / AOR aficionados will remember the very good Spaniard band Airless whom released a bunch of solid albums during the past decade. Rodrigo was the guitar player / composer there, and as happens here, oriented to classic sounds of the genre and English lyrics.
“Living For Louder” sounds and feels like an American band circa 1990, think Mr. Big / Paul Gilbert type of awesome riffs & swirling solos, extremely clean and melodious.
But also, having the terrific Johnny Gioeli performing all lead vocals (there’s some instrumentals on this album as well, and very good) you can’t help but make a Hardline comparison. And that’s not a bad thing, on the contrary, it’s pretty awesome!
Indeed, on songs such as title track, ‘Southern Skies’ or midtempo ‘Lifeline’, the first, classic Hardline is almost back: Gioeli unique pipes, a virtuoso guitarist, a solid rhythm section and a top notch, vibrant, pristine production.
Add to that the really strong songwriting; you need good songs, and Rodrigo’s delivers.
‘Break It Out’ is groovier with Gioeli’s getting rougher for good effect, a dose of heavy blues and organ for a muscular rocker where Johnny’s vocal performance takes the track to another level.
More classic melodic hard rock is served with the powerful ‘Worn Out’, while ‘Sweet Time’ recalls, again, Hardline, thanks to the vocals.
To provide balance, instrumental ‘Anita’s Boogie’ bring to mind Satriani or better, Blues Saraceno (Poison) solo works, much more than an exercise of virtuosity, but a ‘song’ itself.
The songwriting quality and musicianship on “Living For Louder” makes this album worth alone, but add to this Johnny Gioeli on lead vocals and you have a winner.
If classic melodic hard with stupendous guitar work is your thing, you better listen to Robert Rodrigo Band. And if you love Gioeli’s vocals – who doesn’t? – you need to check “Living For Louder” as well.
Very, highly recommended
01 – Living for Louder
02 – Southern Skies
03 – Lifeline
04 – Anita’s Boogie
05 – Break It Out
06 – Worn Out
07 – Blue
08 – Sweet Time
09 – The Land of the Seven Colours
10 – High Dose Rate
Lead Vocals – Johnny Gioeli
Guitars – Robert Rodrigo
Bass – Miguel Manjon
Drums – Pako Martinez
Keyboards – Gotxi Ibarra
BUY IT !