Released: 2005, Frontiers Records/Atenzia Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Blanc Faces is a band led by two brothers, Robbie and Brian La Blanc. This is the band’s debut on Frontiers. Robbie and Brian started their musical career working for Rupert Holmes - a famous writer, composer, lyricist and arranger. The brothers have been involved in several projects and were hired several times for doing background vocals for various artists. Besides playing on the album, they have also written, produced and engineered this whole melodic hard rock album. The main focus is put on Robbie’s lead vocals. Unfortunately, the album almost totally lacks hard riffing, instead the brothers rely on keyboard and some very melodic guitar tunes. I think I can hear musical similarities with Journey, Foreigner and Boston, then you know on what division Blanc Faces are in.
Brian and Robbie have done a great production that enhances some well-balanced and arranged music and it sounds just like it should for this genre. There are 12 strong tracks on the debut. The songs are a combination of melodic hard rock like “Here’s to you”, “We’ll make the best of it”, “Turn this world around”, “Staying power” and “Beneath this heart”…and then there are up-tempo ballads and clean ballads like “Edge of the world”, “It’s a little to late”, “Where do I go from here”, “We will rise”, “Stranger to love” and “Pray for me”.
I think that they have done a smart move when it comes to the track list, they have a ballad or uptempo ballad between each song which is somewhat clever, in certain cases a band saves all slow songs for the end of the album making it boring. For once, it doesn’t seem like all of the songs are about the over-used love theme. At the end of the album, I find myself not having so much to object to regarding the La Blanc brother’s first album. The whole album is a positive experience, the only thing that seems to be a problem for Frontiers is the lack of interest in doing proper cover artwork for the bands.
All of the tracks on this brilliant album are killer tracks and I can’t wait to hear what the brothers are up to next.