Released: 2011, Glasshouse Music Group
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
I have to admit I’m not overly familiar with Rob Mancini, but his is a name some rockers may know as the former front man of bands such as ‘Hotwire’ and ‘Crush’ but if you have never heard of him, this new album from Ireland’s German-Italian born singer should give you a crash course in what he‘s all about. It’s his first album in almost a decade entitled “Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus”
So as you can expect from the album opener “Carnival of Fools” it’s going to have a circus theme. Correct! Personally I feel the theme is a little over done in rock (Kiss, Psycho Circus anyone?) and by the time the title track is over, I’m left a little disappointed - it seems a weak track to open the track with, the chorus is almost boy band at times! Considering that the rest of the album far surpasses the quality of this track, don’t be too put off by it!
So with the one-two punch that comes with “Edge Of A Broken Heart” & “Everytime You Cry” I’m immediately lifted out of doubts I had about this album, as you get to hear far more of what Rob is capable of vocal wise and the tracks are both well crafted and have some quite memorable hooks.
It’s always good to hear people taking their own shine to Kate Bush’s material and Rob’s cover of “Running Up That Hill” is both imaginative and different enough to warrant it’s inclusion on this album (though some of the key sounds on this track are a bit odd) but it’s a small issue compared to the fist pumping riffs that have been infused into it!
There’s also time for the occasional ballad of course, and tracks like “Weak As I Am” & “Time Stops For No One But You” bring the cheese factor up several notches, not to say they’re not good pieces of melodic rock - it’s quite easy to draw comparisons to Bon Jovi or Aerosmith or even (Shock Horror) Nickelback at times, which I’m pretty sure is what’s being aimed for.
Not to say that the record doesn’t have a heavier side though, “Laying Down The Law”, “The Reaper” & “United We Stand” bring in a bit of hard rock/melodic metal crunch which is quite refreshing in between all the balladry!
Credit is also due to Harry Hess who produced the record as it’s quite a crisp sounding record and everything comes through nicely, from Claudio Pietronik’s leads to Filippo Cavallini’s bass lines it sounds like a very polished piece of work.
So overall, definitely an album worth checking out if you’re into the lighter more ballad led side of hard rock/metal!
Review By Paul James