Artist: Cold Sweat
Title: Break Out (reissue)
Label: 20th Century Music Group
Reviewed: March, 2019
Reviewed by: JP
I’m really enjoying these reissue campaigns being done by various motivated parties. Here is a quick lesson in the music industry. Major label record companies at times buy the music from artists. They own the rights to music (albums/songs) and for investment purposes these are at times referred to Intellectual Property Rights or IPR’s. These still carry value, even if only for tax purposes. The record company can and will sell those songs to other parties for movie soundtracks, commercials, video games etc. We have all heard the horror stories of bands having to buy back their open artistic creations at inflated prices from the owners. I’m not saying it is good or bad, it’s just business. Once in a while a company or person sees value in something (an IPR) that has been sitting in the vaults gathering dust for decades and they re-release it. This is one of those cases!
Back in the early 90’s MCA Records put out an album called BREAK OUT by a late-comer into the melodic Metal sweepstakes. It was a good attempt but changing fortunes saw the album tank and the band break up. Here is where it gets interesting. MCA eventually bought Geffen Records. Universal eventually bought MCA. So somehow, I’m not sure how, a group called 20thCentury Music Group, in conjunction with Vanity Music Group has dug this album out of the vaults, dusted it off and released it. This thing passed though about four or five sets of hands/companies and now. I’m glad that someone saw the value in this album, because now for the first time in a couple of decades, the fans get to hear it and be able to buy a copy. Looking at the back cover we have logos from Universal, Geffen, Vanity and 20thCentury printed, everyone collaborated to get this to market.
Onto the album itself, one of the cool things about these re-issues are that often they have cool bonus tracks and/or additional information. In the case of BREAK OUT, there are no bonus tracks but there is a 16-page booklet with a long essay detailing the history of the band. I suppose the big selling point on this album is that after Marc Ferrari left Keel this was his new band. They were hot and ready to rock and MCA saw the potential and took a chance. I have the cassette and I’m so glad to own the CD now!
Musically, for experienced listeners of the genre it is what you might expect from a early 90’s album. This reminds me of other major label attempts to sign and capitalize on a trend, bands, that were perhaps a bit late, a bit derivative and sonically along the lines of Blackfish, Southgang, Tattoo Rodeo, Wild Horses, Sons Of Angels, and so on. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE this style and this sound. Accordingly, BREAK OUT is a really entertaining and enjoyable album.
It is 11 tracks of well-produced, slick, melodic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal with some blues influences. This is evidenced by their choice of a cover tune, the old Foghat tune, “I Just Wanna Make Love To You’. Marc Ferrari can shred but he is a bit more understated in these sessions and this band. This album has it all, slick rockers like the lead-off track, ‘Four On The Floor’ to mid-pace rockers to a nice ballad. It hits all the marks.
They probably didn’t print too many of these as the market for this is small, even diminishing but loyal and still dedicated to buying physical product. So if you are one of those experienced 80’s hard rockers and this debut passed you by in 1990, check it out now! An original MCA pressing on CD is not cheap these days so get this affordable reissue instead!