BENEATH THE SURFACE – Race The Night [Deluxe Edition Remastered +4] (2020)
For the first time officially released on CD, here’s “Race The Night [Deluxe Edition +4]” the debut album from UK rockers BENEATH THE SURFACE, rounded out by the group’s rare 1985 demo (with Shy’s Tony Mills on backing vocals, no less) completely remastered by Jamie King Audio.
Beneath The Surface had that signature UK melodic hard rock sound with traces of pomp, AOR, and classic melodic metal. Stylistically they were similar to early Shy, Bronz, Magnum, Tobruk and Shogun.
So this has to be one of the oddest debut stories ever. Not the formation of the band itself, but the path they took to record their first album.
English rockers Surface had been kicking around the scene since 1980, cutting a 4-track demo in 1985. Their first album – Race The Night – came a year later, but it was recorded live instead of a studio album.
Then in 1988, ‘Race The Night’ got wider distribution and the band was re-branded as Beneath The Surface. The group, unfortunately, never caught on and never released a follow-up, so their one album ended up being a live record.
Setting aside the unconventional choice to debut with a live album, ‘Race The Night’ is actually pretty damned great. Surface / Beneath The Surface had it all: great songs, tight musicianship and a strong fan base.
Gez Finnigan’s vocals actually sound a lot like Dave Hill and Peter Goalby, so there is a strong Demon and mid-’80s Uriah Heep vibe on Race The Night, which is a huge plus.
The live aspect ends up adding a certain dramatic flair to these already pomp-infused, keyboard drenched melodic hard rock songs. “Race The Night,” “Paris,” “It’s No Good” and “Night Creature” are standouts, but these are all really good songs performed very well.
You have to be very confident to put out your debut album performed live. And Beneath The Surface had the skills, believe me.
‘Race The Night’ has been out of print for more than 30 years, but thanks to the Divebomb label we finally get a chance to experience this melodic gem. And of course they did it in style.
This ‘Race The Night Deluxe Edition’ includes the band’s rare 1985 demo (so we do get a few studio tracks plus Tony Mills) and all songs have been newly remastered. A great-sounding reissue all-around.
‘Race The Night’ is one of those albums that a) immediately makes you think of a specific era and region – in this case the mid-’80s UK melodic rock sound – and marvel at how perfect an example it is, and b) makes you ask yourself why you’re only now just discovering the band.
If you’re into the classic British melodic rock sound, especially bands like Magnum, Demon, Tobruk and Shy, you absolutely have to discover ‘Beneath The Surface’.
01 – Someday
02 – Race The Night
03 – Take The Morning
04 – Paris
05 – It’s No Good
06 – Night Creature
07 – Don’t Try
08 – Hideaway
09 – Bad Girls
10 – Story Teller
11 – Hideaway [Demo]
12 – Paris [Demo]
13 – Don’t Try [Demo]
14 – Different Story [Demo]
Gez Finnigan – vocals
Mark Davies – guitar
Loz Rabone – guitar
Dean Field – keyboards
Ian Hawkins – bass
Jamie Hawkins – drums
Tony Mills – backing vocals (bonus tracks)