Overload | review

What's the 4-1-1?
The Canadian melodic rock band is back with their 10th studio recording. The album promises to bridge the gap between the past and present for the band, combining high range vocal work from Harry Hess, and the guitar work of Pete Lesperance.

The Good
I really enjoyed the tight sounding musicianship on this album. Lesperance's guitar work, Barry Donaghy onbass, and Creighton Doan on drums are seamless throughout the album. Lesperance has a great guitar intro on the song "Forgive & Forget," and Doane really smashes his way through each song.Harry Hess sounds in fine form here. He easily attains the higher end of his vocal register, and has the ability to deliver a rougher tone to some of the other songs as well. The opening track "Dagger," "Afterglow" and "Don't Come Easy" are the songswhere he especially stands out. Those three songs along with the previously mentioned driving rock "Forgive & Forget" and "Some Mistakes" form the core group of my own particular favorite tracks on the CD.

The Bad
There's not a lot to complain about here. I didn't really care for the ballads on the album. I've found myselfhaving a harder and harder time finding truly outstanding ballads that didn't make me think of Air Supply. That could just be my own personal thing.

The Verdict
I haven't really listened to the band before and I wasn't sure what to expect. When I mentioned the band tosome people I got wildly negative comments and I had read equally wild praise for the band as well. What I found out is that the band delivers a solid hard rock album tinged with a great sense of melody as well.

As far as Overload is concerned, I find this a really great album and would have no problems recommending it to fans of the genre. It's not perfect, but it rises to the top of the heap over a lot of albums I've heardlately. I'm looking forward to checking out their past material. If it's as good as this album, then I'm infor a fun time discovering the band for myself.

Did You Know?
The band changed their name from Harem Scarem to Rubber in 1999, but changed back in 2002. Drummer Creighton Doane has a second solo album out called Learning More and More About Less and Less. Bullseye Records of Canada will release a 16-song compilation from the band called The Early Years in June. The tracks are early recordings before Harem Scarem signed with WEA Music in the early '90s.

Review by Jay Roberts
Originally posted at Rock Is Life