DESPERATION BLVD – Desperation BLVD (2020)
DESPERATION BLVD is a brand new project from Italy presenting their self-titled debut inspired by the ’80s American Hard Rock scene.
Born from an idea of two experienced musicians, guitarist Alex ‘Crown’ Corona and drummer Elvis ‘Hell’ Ortolan. The trio is completed by bassist Matteo ‘Matt’ Martinelli, the trio enlisted the services of well known vocalists to put their stamp on their songs, including David Reece (ACCEPT, BANGALORE CHOIR), the versatile Alessia Scolletti (TEMPERANCE), SERENITY’s vocalist Fabio D’Amore, and more, plus Thomas Silver from HARDCORE SUPERSTAR contributing a wonderfully fluid guest guitar solo.
If you think of GUNS N’ ROSES when you see a song title like “November Pain”, you are right; on “Desperation BLVD” there’s clear echoes of late ’80s Axl & Co, BULLETBOYS, L.A. GUNS, BANG TANGO, BABYLON A.D., and TUFF round off the lively, uplifting sound of the band.
Additionally they do a crunchy version of the DURAN DURAN classic “Hold Back The Rain” – a vibrant and enormously casual cover that immediately defines the strong personality and unique sleazy n’ roll style of DESPERATION BLVD.
Indeed with opener “November Pain”, the first thing that comes to mind is the iconic Guns song, and while it’s one of the influences that helped the band to define the sound of ”Desperation Blvd”, this song in particular refers to satiety we feel because of the pandemic. With the participation of Mattia Martin (BAD AS) on vocals, musically it is a song that has that essence of hard rock from the 80s with musical chords that will hook you from the first seconds, catchy choruses and that sense of fun that characterized the bands of that time.
Herma (SICK ‘n’ BEAUTIFUL) makes an appearance on “Queen Of Heartache”, whose sound shows some glam metal accents very much in the style of BABYLON A.D. or MOTLEY. The rhythmic part is well defined by the guitar riffs and the drums, and the solo kills.
“Henhouse Tales” has the collaboration of Claudio Coassin (RAINTIME) whose vocal performance evokes in my mind the memory of Kevin DuBrow (who is undoubtedly one of his influences) adding variety to this album in terms of vocals.
“North-East Boulevard” is heavier with the presence of David Reece who shows his wide vocal range adapting to the musical style of this Italian trio. This song stands out for the aggressiveness in the drumming and percussion followed by the strumming of the guitar. The very good guitar solo is performed by Thomas Silver (HARDCORE SUPERSTAR). A highlight.
The band provides variation with the cover of “Hold Back The Rain” adding cool synths to the mix, a song interpreted by Fabio D’Amore (SERENITY) who has a really beautiful voice giving a melodic air to the proceedings.
“Sorry (I Don’t Want You)” delivered with energy from the first seconds thanks to the power and aggressiveness in the execution of the drums and guitar. The surprise factor is the presence of Alessia Scolletti, as she showcases how versatile her voice can be when interpreting a musical genre that we are not used to with TEMPERANCE, evoking great hard rock exponents such as LITA FORD or SUZI QUATTRO. The final part of this song is simply spectacular, the guitar solo will blow your mind.
The creative skills of these Italians is admirable. ”Desperation Blvd” brings the sound of old school hard rock with a fresh, modern twist, kickin’, vital, and fun.
01 – November Pain
02 – Queen of Heartache
03 – Henhouse Tales
04 – North East Boulevard
05 – Hold Back the Rain
06 – Sorry (I Don’t Want You)
Alex ‘Crown’ Corona – Guitars
Matteo ‘Matt’ Martinelli – Bass
Elvis ‘Hell’ Ortolan – Drums
David Reece (Accept, Bangalore Choir) • Vocals on 4
Claudio Coassin (Raintime/Fake Idols) • Vocals on 3
Fabio D’Amore (Serenity) • Vocals on 5
Herma (Sick ‘n’ Beautiful) • Vocals on 2
Alessia Scolletti (Temperance) • Vocals on 6
Mattia Martin (Bad As) • Vocals on 1
Thomas Silver (Hardcore Superstar) • Guitar solo on 4