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One Step Over The Line
Released: 2016, Frontiers Records
During a 2010 break in activity for melodic rockers Harem Scarem, vocalist Harry Hess decided to pass the down time by working with Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, a ton of others) on some music. The results were the self-titled debut by First Signal, an album which was highly praised in rock circles. Time being what it is, Harem Scarem thankfully resumed activity and it seemed like First Signal would be a one-off. Well, here we are in 2016 and Hess has happily found the time to follow up the acclaimed debut. This time he’s working with a different group of musicians and writers (chiefly, Daniel Flores) but the results are no less stunning for the personnel changes.
In almost every way, ONE STEP OVER THE LINE is an improvement on what was an impressive debut. Hess, of course, shines; the man is easily one of the best vocalists in the world. That’s no surprise. What is perhaps surprising is that every single song is memorable; melodic rock fans will have a tough time getting this one off of “repeat”. I can’t even pick favorites, each time a song ends I think “that was awesome”, and then the next song begins and I think the same thing!
Ballads and rockers are all well represented, and thankfully the rockers carry the lines share of the weight. That said, the ballads are heartfelt and not at all saccharine, a sure sign that the song writing is excellent. It’s a tough call for melodic rock album of the 2016 as Nordic Union has already staked their claim, but First Signal have definitely made a case with this album. Must have.
Harry Hess: Lead and Backing Vocals
Michael Palace: Acoustic & electric guitar, bass
Daniel Flores: Keyboards, Drums, Backing Vocals
Backing Vocalists: Alessandro Del Vecchio, Darren Smith, Nigel Bailey, Rolf Pilotti, Angelica Rylin
1. Love Run Free
2. Love Gets Through
3. Still Pretending
6. Minutes of Your Time
7. She is Getting Away
8. December Rain
9. Weigh Me In
11. One Step Over the Line
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